The DEN Food Pantry, which helps Cal State San Bernardino students in need with food and supplies, officially took on its new look and new name — the Obershaw DEN Food Pantry — at a grand reopening ceremony on Sept. 28, thanks to the generosity of philanthropists Charles and Shelby Obershaw.

“This facility is a tremendous symbol of the caring and supportive environment that exists on campus,” said CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales. “This center, the DEN, is a result of the DNA of Cal State San Bernardino.”

The ceremony, which was held in the courtyard of the university’s Faculty Office Building, celebrated the new Obershaw DEN Food Pantry and recognized the Obershaws, longtime friends and donors of the university, who also happened to be celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary.

During her speech, Shelby Obershaw noted that while she and her husband Charles discussed their will, they both knew they wanted to give something to the university. But then they realized, “Why wait?”

“We wanted to do something now,” she said. “We’re so pleased to be able to do this.”

Thanks to their efforts, the newly designed Obershaw DEN Food Pantry added a refrigerator unit, which will allow the DEN to store fresh food and vegetables, and a freezer chest for meats and other foods, said Bryant Fairley, associate director of the CSUSB Office of Community Engagement, which oversees the Obershaw DEN .

During the event, the Obershaws helped unveil a large permanent sign that hangs in front of the DEN, featuring the pantry’s new name. In addition, the DEN now features a colorful mural created by CSUSB art students, as well as a meaningful quote from the Obershaws: “We believe that education can impact and change lives for generations to come.”

“We are grateful to have the opportunity to help students get an education,” said Charles Obershaw.

A national report found that two-thirds of college students in the United States aren’t eating enough food, and 22 percent have the very lowest level of food insecurity. Launched in January 2015, The Obershaw DEN Food Pantry addresses this pressing issue, and is a shining example set for all CSUs and colleges across the country.

More than 1,000 students were supported in its first full year, with donations coming primarily from faculty and staff, as well as community friends. The program also directly assists students who have emergency housing needs.

Along with the gift to the food pantry, the Obershaw’s gift earlier this year will create the Charles and Shelby Obershaw Endowment for Student Success, a fund that will support the social and academic success of students in CSUSB’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Renaissance Scholar program and the Entrepreneurship program in the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration.

Visit the Obershaw DEN Food Pantry website for more information.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 or visit