Charles and Priscilla Porter have donated an additional $50,000 to support the Porter History-Social Science Resource Center at Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus – a center they created and endowed in 2004 to provide Palm Desert Campus students and local K-12 educators access to quality materials that foster the development of social science skills in the areas of history, geography, economics and political science.

The Porter Resource Center works to develop a thriving and sustainable history major at PDC and enhances the reputation of the Palm Desert Campus as an educational leader in the social science field.

Charles and Priscilla Porter
Charles and Priscilla Porter

“None of our local school districts has a history-social science coordinator, and there is a lack of history professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers in the Coachella Valley,” said Priscilla Porter. “The Porter Resource Center has been active in providing professional development activities for local teachers and this gift will help continue to expand its capacity in the community.”

The gift will also support the work of Michael Karp, the center’s co-director and history professor at the Palm Desert Campus.

With the support from the Porter Resource Center, Karp can continue to attend the monthly World Affairs Council of the Desert speaker series events, which bring informed perspectives from internationally recognized speakers on global and national affairs to the Coachella Valley. PDC students join Karp at these monthly events through the generous support of the World Affairs Council of the Desert.

Also, the World Affairs Council of America offers a competitive travel scholarship to attend their annual conference in Washington, D.C., and with support from the Porter Resource Center, Karp and PDC history student Armando Bolaños traveled to D.C. this past fall to participate in the conference.

The gift will also support Karp’s ongoing research and professional development, allowing him to present his research at national conferences, network with other scholars, and maintain his membership in various historical organizations, such as the American Historical Association, The Organization of American Historians, The Western History Association, and the American Society for Environmental History.

Michael Karp
Michael Karp

Karp has also established a History Club at PDC, and the gift will provide funds for admission and fees to historical sites and materials for their weekly club meetings. History Club members also volunteer at the Coachella Valley History Museum and other local nonprofit organizations.

In addition, the Porter Resource Center will sponsor two annual conferences, one focused on a topic of historical or environmental interest, such as the Salton Sea, and one to provide history students a venue to present their research topics. It will also provide funds to begin a Coachella Valley History Day Competition for Coachella Valley students in grades 4 through 12.

For more information about its programs and resources, visit the Porter Resource Center website.

For more information about the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, contact Mike Singer in the Office of Strategic Communication at or (760) 341-2883, ext. 78107, or visit the PDC website at

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The Porter Resource Center at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus.