Recognized as a “Best in the West” public university, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has in recent years become a destination campus, attracting high-performing students and outstanding teacher-scholars who mirror the extraordinary diversity of our state, our country, and our world. As a student-centered institution that serves large numbers of Pell Grant-eligible and first-generation college students, CSULB views itself as having a special responsibility to assist students in need. Women & Philanthropy, CSULB’s premier women-directed support organization, was created to advance the university’s student-success efforts while providing members with the opportunity to work and lead in a supportive and inspiring environment.
A Strong Foundation
Since 1998, Women & Philanthropy has furnished members with rewarding opportunities to work collaboratively, alongside other accomplished and dedicated women and men, to assist CSULB students who are returning to campus to complete their undergraduate degrees or whose majors require participation in costly or time-intensive research or creative activities. To date, members of Women & Philanthropy have raised (through membership donations) and awarded more than $350,000 to deserving junior- and senior-level students selected to receive re-entry or creative-research scholarships. Members also generously contribute their time by mentoring students, serving on advisory boards, engaging in discussions with faculty about discipline-specific needs, and hosting/attending membership events. Women & Philanthropy members represent a wide range of interests, professions, and backgrounds, but they are all united in their commitment to The Beach, to supporting student success, and, in particular, to putting transformative learning opportunities within reach of historically underrepresented students.
A Growing Need
Today, philanthropy plays a crucial role at CSULB, just as it does on college campuses throughout the country. In particular, the success of our students—35 percent of whom are first-generation college students—depends increasingly on the availability of privately funded scholarships. In an era of state disinvestment in public higher education, many students are forced to take on the burden of significant debt to earn their degrees—or are discouraged from pursuing their college dreams altogether. “Declining state support has caused a dramatic shift in the share of … expenses paid for by students and the government,” confirmed policy analyst Robert Hiltonsmith in 2015. Although The Beach is nationally recognized (by Forbes and Kiplinger, among others) as a “best value” public college, the reality is that many students simply would be unable to afford the cost of a CSULB education without the support of partners like Women & Philanthropy.
The Impact of Your Investment
Time after time, grateful scholarship recipients tell us that it was private support that made it possible for them to stay in college during a personal crisis, or allowed them to participate more fully in campus life, or gave them the confidence and freedom to pursue a challenging course of study. Through their contributions of time and financial resources, members of Women & Philanthropy give deserving students the support they need to complete their degrees, to expand the boundaries of undergraduate research, and to weather unexpected financial crises. This, in turn, benefits not only the award recipients themselves, but also their families, workplaces, and communities—and all of us who are inspired by their persistence and determination.
Members receive invitations to the spring Scholarship Reception and to a variety of other campus and social events. There may also be opportunities to work directly with the scholarship committee and/or with students as we cheer them on toward their goals. Additionally, you will enjoy getting to know a talented team of dedicated educators and administrators, including:
Jackie O’Day, Director ∼ Jackie began her CSULB career in 2007, working on alumni events; in her current role, she oversees Women & Philanthropy, a group that provides scholarships to re-entry students, as well as the newly formed Orange County and South Bay regional councils.
Lea Lowe, Chair ∼ Lea was a divorced mother of two when she became a re-entry student at Cypress College. After graduating from CSULB, she worked in healthcare administration, ending her 40-year career as CEO of a multi-million-dollar medical research organization.
There are a variety reasons to join Women & Philanthropy, but our members agree that one of the greatest rewards is the satisfaction of knowing that your participation has a direct and positive impact on the lives of deserving CSULB students. Please consider joining us as we strive to build a better future for them—and for our campus and community. Membership levels begin at $500 annually. Individuals may also support scholarships by becoming a “Friend of Women & Philanthropy” with an annual gift of any size. Whatever form it takes, your enthusiastic involvement is greatly appreciated by our students, by our members, and by the campus at large.
Annual Membership Levels
- Diamond: $2,500
- Emerald: $1,500
- Ruby: $1,000
- Sapphire: $500
If you’re not ready to become a member today, we gladly accept donations of any amount that will directly support student scholarships!