Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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360
Left to Right: Bay Area Regional Council members Kent Grubaugh, ('93), and Deidre Von Rock-Ricci, ('93), with Amy Harmon, SDSU associate vice president for Development. Left to Right: Bay Area Regional Council members Kent Grubaugh, ('93), and Deidre Von Rock-Ricci, ('93), with Amy Harmon, SDSU associate vice president for Development.
 


From Coast to Coast

Regional councils bolster SDSU's national profile.
By Coleen L. Geraghty
 

This story appears in the spring 2017 issue of 360: The Magazine of San Diego State University.

Re-engaging “lost” Aztecs has been a goal of The Campaign for SDSU, equal in importance to fundraising. Over the life of the campaign, as giving mounted to $750 million, the number of new donors climbed to more than 48,000. Turns out they were just waiting to be found.

Because many of these alumni live outside of San Diego, San Diego State University has established regional councils in key locations to introduce Aztecs to each other and reacquaint them with SDSU.

Spring 2017 issue of 360: The Magazine of San Diego State University
Fall 2017 Cover of 360: The Magazine of San Diego State University
Regional council members volunteer their time to enhance the university’s national reputation and future development by fundraising, network building and investing in student success. Most are Aztec alumni and parents; others are regional business leaders and fans of SDSU.

“We’ve helped build a powerful network of Aztecs who realize that SDSU was a huge factor in their success,” said Francie Louie (’83), a Bay Area alumna. “It’s rewarding to give back in this way.”

SDSU regional councils have grown strong in Orange County, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest, Central California, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and the New York area. The seeds for two new councils are now planted in Denver and Las Vegas.

A great foundation

Council members support current students with scholarships, mentoring and access to internships. They sponsor freshman sendoffs to connect admitted high school students with alumni living nearby. Many regional councils also help SDSU recruit high-achieving students and work with SDSU Athletics to increase attendance at remoted athletic events.

Council members pride themselves on 100 percent philanthropic participation from every member, every year. While they support dozens of areas across campus, four regional councils have also pooled funds together to create endowed scholarships for students from their areas. This collective commitment to philanthropy is making a big impact at SDSU.

“San Diego State provided me with a great foundation, and I believe it is our responsibility to give back,” said Stephen Coslik (’71), co-chair of the Dallas-Fort Worth regional council. “It's not just about financial resources; it is also devoting time and energy. We want SDSU graduates who are coming to Texas or coming back to Texas to grow their connection with the university.”

In fall 2016, regional council members convened in San Diego for the inaugural Fall Forum. About 40 members from the Bay Area, Orange County, Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest met with SDSU’s National Leadership Council to discuss The Campaign for SDSU, share best practices and take part in Homecoming Week activities. Plans are underway for an even larger Fall Forum in 2017.