Cal State San Bernardino’s Office of Annual Giving wrapped up their annual Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign with a celebratory luncheon held in the Obershaw Dining Room on April 19.

This year’s campaign raised nearly $107,000 with donations from more than 420 faculty, staff and retirees, said Susana Barbosa, director of annual giving.

The Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign provides an avenue for faculty and staff to voluntarily contribute to scholarships, times and other areas of need within the university. These donations, no matter the size, play a vital role in supporting the university’s mission of providing accessible, affordable and quality education to its diverse student population, Barbosa said.

The luncheon, with attendance from this year’s campaign co-chairs Dorothy Chen-Maynard, a professor of health science and human ecology, and Anthony Roberson, associate director of operations at the Santos Manuel Student Union, was to thank those who donated to funds, scholarships and departments over the course of the campaign. It was open to current and retired staff, and faculty who participated in the campaign, providing free food and good conversation.

“I’m honored to be a part of this campaign, as it allows me to give back to the community that has supported me throughout my academic and professional journey,” said Jodi Buckley, CSUSB alumna and staff member for over 10 years. “As someone who has benefited from various sources of support during my time at CSUSB, I am passionate about seizing opportunities to give back and make difference in the lives of our students.”

Nena Torrez, a professor for CSUSB’s multiple subject credential program, said the luncheon is a great opportunity for camaraderie among peers. She enjoys being around like-minded individuals who love giving back, emphasizing that she encourages those around her to give on a regular basis. “You can start little. Ten dollars here, ten dollars there,” she said. “We used to have United Way here, the idea that you check a box and a little comes out of every check.”

Torrez said she was inspired to donate to CSUSB because she understands the financial struggles of a student.

“I’m from San Bernardino. I was a student for a long time, from B.A. to M.A. to Ph.D. Tuition always goes up and the cost of everything goes up,” she explained. “The Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign is a fantastic way for student scholarships and funding to be supported, offering options to donate to the Coyote Impact Fund, the University General Scholarship, the PDC Endowed Scholarship, the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and many more.”

The impact gifts and donations have on students at CSUSB is observable, with Torrez telling the story of a student now alumnus who came from humble beginnings. “He was applying for a scholarship and I was on the committee. One of his goals was to buy his mother a house,” she said. “Of course, I said, ‘Give him money.’ And now I think he’s richer than me! And now he gives back.”

As a scholarship recipient herself, Torrez understands the feeling of wanting to pay it forward. However, for those who might not have the means to donate funds, she suggests giving time or donating goods. “On campus we have a food pantry and clothing donation,” she said. “And although you may not think you have a lot … you do.”

The annual faculty-staff giving campaign provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, and retirees to come together and make a collective impact and further define the future for students, said campaign co-chair Roberson.

“Even though we are a Hispanic-Serving institution we still have a lot of marginalized students on campus, like our Native American students, Asian Pacific Islander students, our Black African-American students, and also our queer and transgender students,” said Roberson. “I like to give back to those initiatives because I think sometimes they have a problem with the sense of belonging when they come to campus.”

The Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign may be over, but acts of philanthropy can be done year-round. The Office of Annual Giving at CSUSB encourages everyone to make an impact, affect real change, and build a brighter future marked by health, safety, and equity for all.

For more information on how to donate, visit the Annual Giving webpage.