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Alumni Giving

By giving back to your alma mater, alumni demonstrate that they believe in current students and know first-hand how additional financial support can make all the difference in a student's path toward a degree. 

On Giving Day 2023 alone, alumni made 455 gifts, supporting areas like ASI Cougar Pantry, College Assistance Migrant Program, Men's Soccer, SHCS Health Assistance Fund, and Veterans Services.  Alumni support helps the university's daily efforts to assist students via scholarships and programs.

Jenna Hernandez β€˜19

Jenna Hernandez

What motivates you to give back to your alma mater?

I am motivated to give back to enhance the current students' college experience like others did for me.  If it weren't for programs like the Cougar Pantry or clubs on campus, my college experience may have not been as impactful or helpful. Another reason I give back annually is due to this sense of community it enables - by giving back we are providing more students opportunities that wouldn't typically be available. 

Did you choose to support the Student Philanthropy Endowed Scholarship for any specific reason?

I chose to support the Student Philanthropy Endowed Scholarship because I have witnessed first-hand the impact it has on students and the culture of our campus philanthropy. This scholarship is so unique because it embodies student empowerment and represents how philanthropy is less about money and more about the culture of giving.  Knowing how this scholarship makes a difference is rewarding.

What would you say to a CSUSM Alumna/us who is not currently a donor?

I would say hop on the donor train because you have to remember your path at CSUSM that lead you to a degree, a dream job, a new opportunity, etc.  It's not about giving money but giving other students the opportunity to make a difference in this world or their personal lives. Becoming a donor isn't simply becoming part of an organization – it’s becoming a family member in the CSUSM community forever. So why not join the family?

Cipriano Vargas β€˜14

Cipriano Vargas

What motivates you to give back to your alma mater?

For the last decade, at CSUSM we have seen an increase in the graduation rates for first generation college students, foster youth, Native American students, veterans, and many other groups.  I think about all the lives that have been transformed because of a quality education we received at CSUSM.  I think about the future and the impact our fellow Alumni will have in our region and beyond.  I am inspired by the work our Alumni lead and the impact they have in our society.  This is what motivates me to give back.

Did you choose to annually support the Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship for any specific reason?

Yes, and I encourage all CSUSM Alumni to contribute today. As a first generation college student, I remember receiving a scholarship from one of our local organizations.  Not only was I being supported financially but since that moment, I knew there was a community that wanted to see me succeed. You never know how much this could mean to one of our current students. 

What would you say to a CSUSM Alumna/us who is not currently a donor?

CSUSM is a younger institution and with that comes the opportunity to help create our own story.  With nearly 48,000 alumni, we are the ambassadors for CSUSM whenever we wear a CSUSM shirt, put down our alma mater on a resume, or drive our car with a CSUSM license frame.  If you are like me, I am proud of my experience at CSUSM.  I urge you to help with a gift, no matter how big or small!

Martin Leyva '18

 martin leyva

What motivates you to give back to your alma mater?

CSUSM was and is great to me. I have gained so much from this institution and it is important for me to continually give back so others can receive the same empowerment and mentorship that I received.

Did you choose to support Project Rebound with a recurring gift for any specific reason?

Project Rebound is a program that gives those who are impacted by the criminal justice system a chance to really achieve their dreams. It supports with so many great resources that I know my donation is going to a great cause. CSUSM recognizes that giving to those less fortunate creates social and systemic change for so many. Project Rebound is one of many programs that offer great resources.

What would you say to a CSUSM Alumna/us who is not currently a donor?

 Giving back is so important. As an Alum of CSUSM, if feel that we have an obligation to watch our alma mater grow and produce great critical and proactive students who can literally make a difference in the world. I am proud to be a part of this institution.