HISTORY AND LEADERSHIP
The Campanile Foundation incorporated as a philanthropic tax-exempt foundation [a 501(c)(3) corporation] and an official auxiliary of San Diego State in August 1999. The foundation plays an important role in SDSU's long-term strategy and institutional commitment to increase private funding.
To accomplish this goal, The Campanile Foundation and the SDSU Research Foundation have created an operating alliance to implement this philanthropic strategy in the most effective manner. The Campanile Foundation outsources its accounting and account administration functions to the SDSU Research Foundation to prevent the duplication of existing services and expertise that could lead to increases in the cost of administering gifts.
Mary Ruth Carleton, CEO of the Campanile Foundation, and vice president for University Relations and Development, says, "Building private support, particularly our endowment, provides a strong underpinning for the future and will assist SDSU in achieving its vision as a top 10 urban research university, one that is engaged locally for global impact."
The foundation has played a key role in helping SDSU raise more than $765 million since its inception. Gifts from corporations, foundations and individuals fuel new and existing initiatives, benefiting students and global communities—thus creating a synergistic cycle.
Providing leadership to The Campanile Foundation is a Board of Trustees made up of highly qualified civic and business leaders, most of whom are San Diego State alumni, who give their personal expertise, time and treasure to support SDSU. Board members serve three-year terms, with the exception of a one-year term for a student representative. Christopher "Kit" Sickels is the current chairman.
What's a campanile?
The Foundation takes its name from the landmark tower or campanile on the northwest corner of the original campus quad, finished in 1931. Though the design is reminiscent of a Mediterranean church tower, it did not hold bells originally. The purpose of the tower was utilitarian: to camouflage a 5,000-gallon water tank that provided pressure for the campus plumbing system. In 1946, Senator and Mrs. Ed Fletcher donated chimes to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the university, and as a memorial to all SDSU students killed in war. The tower became known as Hardy Tower in 1976, when the Board of Trustees renamed it to honor SDSU second president Edward L. Hardy. Today, the daily ringing of the carillon still reverberates across campus.