SF State launches new campaign to raise student support from private donors

Declining state funding, rising tuition spurs effort to keep education affordable for all


SAN FRANCISCO, September 10, 2012 -- San Francisco State University has announced the public launch of a new campaign to raise $12 million for student support, countering the decrease in state funding and related increases in tuition. Called “Students First,” the campaign has already raised $4.7 million.

San Francisco State University Sign

“We are pleased by the initial response to the campaign, which demonstrates our community’s steadfast commitment to students,” said Vice President for University Advancement Robert J. Nava.

The two-year campaign will raise funds for student merit- and need-based scholarships, graduate fellowships and student awards to fund tuition, housing, books and living expenses. The campaign gifts may support either the University’s endowment that provides scholarship funds in perpetuity or specific current-use scholarships.

While the difficult economic outlook may provide a more challenging fundraising environment, said Nava, it has also created a greater need among students. The reduction in state funding has led to increases in tuition and fees, and the University seeks to alleviate the pressure by arranging for direct support to students from private donors.

The campaign is seeking to engage support from the entire campus community, including faculty, alumni, friends and community leaders. Prior to beginning his term as president of SF State, Leslie E. Wong and his wife Phyllis joined the effort with a $35,000 endowed gift, establishing the Dr. Leslie and Phyllis Wong Scholarship. Other individual donations include:

  • $1 million anonymous gift to support general scholarships for undergraduate students;
  • $250,000 from Professor Emeritus Lilly M. Berry to endow scholarships for psychology students; and
  • $100,000 from Professor Emeritus Jack Fraenkel to support students in the social sciences, mathematics or sciences who plan to teach

Foundation and corporate support includes funding from The ARCS Foundation, Inc.; Genentech Foundation for Biomedical Science; S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; Merritt Community Capital Corporation; The Morris Stulsaft Foundation; the Edward M. Nagel Foundation; and the Follett Higher Education Group.




SF State is the only master's-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls nearly 30,000 students each year and offers nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies. The University’s more than 212,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.