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Vol 57 No. 11 : June 2, 2005
Vol 57 No. 11 | June 1, 2005

Deukmejians Donate $107,000 to Disabled Student Services

George Deukmejian

David Sanfilippo (l), Gov. George Deukmejian (c) and CSULB president Robert C. Maxson

Former California Gov. George Deukmejian and his wife, Gloria, have donated $107,000 to the Disabled Student Services (DSS) program at CSULB. The money will be used to fund a campus scholarship in honor of the state's former first couple – the George and Gloria Deukmejian Scholarship for Students with Disabilities.

“Governor Deukmejian and his wife Gloria have been tremendous supporters of the campus' Disabled Students Services program,” noted Robert C. Maxson, president of Cal State Long Beach. “Because of their involvement with the program, they understand and have seen first hand the type of assistance our program gives to students with special needs. This generous gift will enhance those efforts and support future students with disabilities at our campus.”

David Sanfilippo, director of the DSS program at CSULB added, “We really don't know how to thank them for all they have done for us, but we hope this scholarship in their honor shows, in a small way, how much we appreciate their longtime and continued support.”

DSS provides appropriate services for students with disabilities, including registration assistance, note-taking, sign-language interpreting, reading, test proctoring, academic advising and scholarship information. Other program components include the High Tech Computer Center for the Disabled, Stephen Benson Learning Disability Program and the WorkAbility IV Program, which helps provide career planning, placement and job search assistance.

Back in 1993, Deukmejian accepted an invitation to chair a committee responsible for raising funds for the DSS program. Sanfilippo said the effort raised more than $1.5 million. Equally as important, however, was the lasting impression the program made on Deukmejian.

“With that invitation (to join the committee), I became very familiar with all of the services that CSULB makes available to students who have special needs,” Deukmejian explained. “I was extremely impressed with the scope of those services and with the leadership provided by David (Sanfilippo, director) and his staff.”

“Recently, I had the opportunity to direct some funds toward various non-profit organizations,” the former governor added. “I felt that we should provide as much support as possible for young students who have disabilities but who are determined to achieve their educational goals.”

The Deukmejians are longtime Long Beach residents. Gloria was born in Long Beach, and George has been a resident since 1958.

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