Campaign for SDSU Raises More Than $815 Million
San Diego State University raised $815,169,836 in the institution’s first comprehensive campaign that ended June 30. The official final total was announced at a campus celebration July 14 at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.
SDSU cheer squad, color guard and marching band members lead a July 14 celebratory parade across campus.
During the noontime event, students, faculty, staff and administrators were led by the SDSU cheer squad, color guard and marching band members on a parade from the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center to a rally under the union’s arched north entrance. There, the final tally for the decade-long Campaign for SDSU was revealed by Mary Ruth Carleton, Vice President for University Relations and Development (URAD) and the President and CEO of The Campanile Foundation (TCF), as a giant banner unfurled displaying the total.
Carleton recalled for the crowd of more than 100 celebrants how the campaign’s original goal had been set at $500-million, but was so successful in its early years that it was extended with a new goal of $750,000-million. “We created a culture of philanthropy,” at the university, the vice president said. “People believe in supporting San Diego State.”
Among those celebrating was SDSU Assistant Vice President for Planned Giving and Estates Amy Walling, who worked as a prospect researcher on campus 20 years ago. She left SDSU wondering whether the university would ever be able to mount a successful campaign, but returned four years ago to help The Campaign for SDSU exceed its goal.
SDSU Assistant Vice President for Planned Giving and Estates Amy Walling said more alumni are making planned gifts.
“I just knew this was the time to actually see the change,” she said. “It's amazing. I'm thrilled to be a part of this because of everything that has happened over the years and seeing it all finally come together for San Diego State.”
Planned gifts, in which donors agree to leave part of their estate to the university, accounted for approximately a quarter of the campaign’s donations. Walling said planned giving is something more and more alumni are looking into.
"SDSU is a part of their life and this is something they want to do,” she explained. “Many are at a place in their lives now where they want to talk about the possibilities, so it's a great conversation to have.”
Brian Andrews is a URAD employee who works as director of gift administration and reporting. His job is to make sure all donations are accounted for, properly receipted, and distributed to the right accounts.
Through the monthly reports and other statistical breakdowns he ran during the campaign, Andrews compiled the data that augured a hugely successful outcome. After the Campaign for SDSU was extended and the goal reset to $750-million, he remembers running the numbers and being impressed with the results.
Brian Andrews is director of gift administration and reporting.
"In the first six to nine months of that extension, we were just killing it,” he recalled. “I thought, ‘Wow! If this momentum keeps going, we are going to blow the $750-million out of the water!’”
Spending so much time crunching numbers in his TCF office on the second floor of the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center, Andrews gets less face time with donors than other URAD employees enjoy. He mostly talks with alumni and other donors by phone, answering their questions and assisting with gift agreements.
One of the frequent and generous donors he has spoken with many times over the past several years is Patti Roscoe (’14), who attended the celebration and briefly addressed the crowd. Having never met her in person, Andrews introduced himself.
“We were both elated and she gave me a big hug, which was really nice. She is wonderful,” he said, noting that such relationships are the most satisfying aspect of a job he loves.
"I am so grateful and honored to be part of not just this campaign, but this university. It's like an extended family, really. The teamwork here is remarkable."
Andrews added that he is already looking forward to a future Campaign for SDSU whenever it may be and whatever goal might be set.