CSULB honored in run-up to 75th anniversary as fundraising campaign tops $311 million

Published June 21, 2024

Cal State Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley told a packed ballroom of business and community leaders Thursday that the university was concluding its multi-year No Barriers fundraising campaign, raising more than $311 million — exceeding the original $275 million goal.  

“This incredible achievement underscores the unwavering support and belief in our mission from our alumni, partners and friends,” Conoley said.

The announcement came as Conoley accepted the "Destination Tomorrow" award from the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce at its 133rd Annual Gala at the Westin Long Beach.  

The campaign's June 30 close — after which the numbers will be finalized — “will allow us to focus on celebrating our own Diamond Anniversary,” she said. “Of course, every university or nonprofit organization is always looking ahead to its next campaign — and we’re no different. And while we have been considering what’s next, we’re going to take it one step at a time as we celebrate the campaign’s success and our 75th birthday.”

The close ties between CSULB and many of the 400-plus people in attendance were apparent. Chamber President and CEO Jeremy Harris ’04, proudly boasted his alma mater’s deep roots in the community and interjected “Go Beach” throughout the evening.

"As Cal State Long Beach approaches its 75th anniversary this fall, the university continues to be an essential educational institution with a significant impact on our community,” said Harris, sporting a CSULB-gold bow tie. “Their commitment to excellence in education not only shapes the minds of future generations but also produces the future workforce that drives innovation and growth in our city. The university’s influence extends beyond academics, promoting a culture of inclusivity, research and community engagement. Honoring CSULB’s contributions highlights our shared vision for a strong and successful future."

Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Gala at the Westin Long Beach

Dan Montoya, Cal State Long Beach vice president for University Relations and Development, thanked the Chamber for its partnership and highlighted some of the supporters in attendance who were significantly instrumental in helping the university to reach its goal, including MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center, the Boeing Company, P2S, SCAN Health Plan, the Assistance League of Long Beach and Ballmer Group, whose $11 million gift will help The Beach to credential early childhood teachers to prepare generations of school children for kindergarten. 

Nearly 93,000 donors have participated in the campaign so far, directing their support to more than 1,100 funds spanning capital projects, program support, and the establishment of almost 300 new scholarships, he said. 

"But beyond the impressive numbers lies the true impact of our collective efforts,” Montoya added. “The No Barriers campaign has been about breaking down barriers to education and opportunity, creating a national model for student achievement, empowerment and equity, shaping California's future workforce, advancing the public good and fostering a spirit of collaboration and inclusivity."

Conoley announced a first-of-its-kind partnership between CSULB and the Chamber in which all new CSULB Alumni-affiliated businesses will receive a competitive advantage through a one-year complimentary Chamber membership when referred from the university’s Alumni team.

“We believe in our alumni and we believe in the Chamber, and with this alliance we will thrive together,” she said.  

Austin Metoyer ’11, president and CEO of the Downtown Long Beach Alliance and an inaugural honoree of The Beach’s 49 Under 49 program, personified what is so special about CSULB and the Long Beach community.  

“Like many in this room – not only was I ‘made’ at CSULB, but I was ‘made’ in Long Beach – from Poly to The Beach to my role now helping revitalize and enhance our amazing downtown’s future.

“As I work to serve our community, I see daily what it means to have a premier university, the ‘university of choice’ in our back yard. From the work I do with our next generation of student leaders on campus, to the impact of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship launching start-ups that will stay and thrive locally, to connecting with generations of Beach alumni who exemplify Beach Pride, now more than 400,000 strong,” he added.

The Beach has nurtured generations of leaders who have served in the local community as mayors, city council members, city attorneys, city auditors, fire chiefs, police chiefs, senators and even the Chamber’s president, he added. “Long Beach beats with our influence, seamlessly woven into the fabric of our city's identity.”

“Thinking of this award – Destination Tomorrow – I am happy to represent the next 75 years of Beach alumni driving impact in our community.”