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published on August 20, 2018 - 1:49 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro announced today that charitable giving to the university increased 22 percent in the 2017-18 academic year.

That in spite of controversy including tweets from an English professor who called former First Lady Barbara Bush “an amazing racist” when her death was announced in April. That uproar led to calls to boycott charitable giving to benefit Fresno State.

A total of $22.4 million was contributed to the university during the 2017-18 academic year from nearly 10,000 individuals. That number represents a 22-percent increase from the prior year.

“We are grateful to our many generous alumni, friends, foundations and corporations who have helped to make this an extraordinarily successful fundraising year for Fresno State,” Castro said. “I am particularly pleased with the significant increase in the number of gifts from alumni and friends, a testament to the importance they see in supporting the success of our talented students.”

Of the $22.4 million, $18.3 million went to academics and $4.1 million to athletics.

Some of the more noteworthy gifts include:

$1.8 million from the Frank and Roxie Moradian trusts for student scholarships in the College of Arts and Humanities and the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. The Moradians were Fresno philanthropists who gifted a portion of their estates to help students pursue careers in fields that they treasured.

$1 million gift from an anonymous donor to fund research and The President’s Circle for Excellence. Half of the gift will support undergraduate, team-based research in genetics and molecular biology. The other half is for The President’s Circle, an existing fund maintained by the Fresno State Foundation for private gifts to be distributed at the discretion of the University president to meet smaller program needs on campus.

$450,000 from Chevron to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs in the Lyles College of Engineering and the College of Science and Mathematics. A portion of the gift will develop a Process and Control Automation Academy with research and development opportunities, classroom upgrades and professional development opportunities relevant to Central Valley manufacturing industries.

“Our campus and community culture of philanthropy is growing in support of student success at Fresno State. Alumni giving is one indicator of California State University campus effectiveness,” said Paula Castadio, vice president for University Advancement. “This year, individual alumni donors have increased 14.5 percent, or by 753 alumni donors. We encourage our alumni to support the University at whatever amount is comfortable to help demonstrate our campus’ strength in numbers.”

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