Raymond (Ray) Watts has joined Cal State San Bernardino as the new associate vice president for philanthropic giving.

"We are thrilled to welcome Raymond Watts as the new associate vice president for philanthropic giving at Cal State San Bernardino,” said Robert J. Nava, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of CSUSB’s Philanthropic Foundation. “Raymond brings with him a wealth of experience and an impressive track record in university advancement, having led highly successful fundraising campaigns and fostering strong donor relations at esteemed institutions like Claremont McKenna College and the University of Redlands.”

Watts joins the university as the “Our Defining Moment: The Campaign for CSUSB” continues its successful course. The $200 million “blended” campaign, which includes philanthropic fundraising and funding for grants and research, is the first of its kind launched by a public institution of higher education. While it has surpassed its overall $200 million mark, the university is working to increase philanthropic giving, keeping the campaign active until June 30, 2026.

I am truly honored to begin my service as associate vice president for philanthropic giving at Cal State San Bernardino,” Watts said.  “As a first-generation college student myself, I am thrilled to have the chance to lead the philanthropic giving team to directly assist our students and faculty.

“The opportunity to join CSUSB at this most important defining moment for the university is special, and I will do all I can to help advance the mission of the university through the transformative power of philanthropy,” he said. “The chance to connect current and prospective donors to the mission and goals of CSUSB within the context of our ongoing comprehensive campaign is so exciting, and I look forward to getting to know the many people who care for this institution. 

“I’m so thankful and happy to be part of the Pack!”

Watts most recently served as the associate vice president for development at Claremont McKenna College. During his tenure, he led a team of fundraising professionals, collaborating closely with senior leadership. Notably, he spearheaded a comprehensive campaign that concluded with a remarkable $1.076 billion raised, surpassing the original goal of $800 million. He also managed a portfolio of approximately 200 alumni, parents and friends, ensuring sustained engagement and philanthropic investment.

Prior to his role at Claremont McKenna, Watts spent 17 years at the University of Redlands, where he held various leadership positions in advancement. As the senior associate vice president for advancement and senior philanthropic advisor, he successfully guided the $200 million Forever Yours campaign and contributed to the university's Centennial Campaign. His innovative approaches in planned giving, annual giving strategies, and marketing significantly bolstered the university's fundraising capabilities.

Watts’ career in advancement began at Loyola Marymount University, where he managed annual and special campaigns, significantly increasing donor contributions and leading multiple teams to achieve substantial fundraising goals.

In addition to his professional achievements, Watts holds a bachelor of arts degree in English Literature and an MBA from Loyola Marymount University. He is also a certified specialist in planned giving, and he has been actively involved in professional organizations, teaching and community service, including serving on the board of directors for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners.

“Ray's background as a first-generation college student resonates deeply with our mission at CSUSB, and his commitment to transformative philanthropy aligns perfectly with our goals,” Nava said. “We are confident that his innovative approaches and dedication will enhance our ongoing comprehensive campaign and strengthen our connections with alumni, parents and friends of the university. Ray's strategic vision and passion for philanthropy will undoubtedly elevate our efforts to support our students, faculty, and the broader CSUSB community.”

Visit the CSUSB Division of University Advancement webpage for more information.