Dear Alumni and Friends,
F or decades, conventional wisdom communicated to the people of California has been that our state government would address the financial requirements of public universities. Such a noble concept, especially in the 21st century, has become problematic as other public demands clash with the increasing needs of all students to obtain high quality collegiate degrees.
These pressures have created a volatility in state funding for higher education and an environment in which private funds, acquired through university fundraising endeavors, are essential for public universities across the nation. California State University, Long Beach, for example, receives a much smaller share of our operating budget from the state than we did a decade ago and this deleterious trend will most likely not end in the decades to come.
Our fiscal charge, then, is twofold: 1) Seek private funds for immediate needs, and 2) grow the university endowment to assure our vibrant future. Essential to the success of all major universities, the university endowment yields capital appreciation through growth of the principal, and interest earnings from the fund provides the university with an immediate, flexible source of revenue to meet all manner of educational purposes and/or capital improvements.
Within the past several months, CSULB adopted spending plans and investment strategies that would help us aggressively strengthen our university endowment; our aggregate endowment and endowment resources per student are currently below the national average. These strategies are working. We have witnessed a 15 percent increase in our total endowment, and we have received $11 million in new pledged or planned gifts designated for our university endowment.
As encouraging as these figures are, additional philanthropic support is needed to realize our goal of becoming a national presence on the higher education landscape. We hope you will assist us in positively impacting the futures of thousands of students and becoming an institution known across the United States by contributing to the university endowment. Your investment will help create a legacy of scholarly opportunity and achievement at California State University, Long Beach that will thrive for many generations to come.
F. King Alexander