More than $6 Million Given to Support Students and Initiatives - Humboldt State Now

More than $6 Million Given to Support Students and Initiatives

From helping undocumented students go to college to supporting a new children’s bilingual book about a tsunami boat from Japan, Humboldt State alumni and others gave more than $6 million to the University over the last year.

From July 2015 to June 2016, $6.13 million was raised for HSU programs, surpassing the University’s $6 million philanthropic target. That figure includes the more than $1.65 million donated from alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students, and other individual donors, and more than $4.48 million from organizations, including corporate and business partners, and foundations. Donor funding for scholarships, awards, and internship/assistantship opportunities comprised more than $1.32 million and assisted nearly 700 HSU students.

“When I think about what donors accomplished with HSU last year, I’m stunned by the diversity of ideas and projects they funded. They enable HSU to reach locally and globally,” says Kimberley Pittman-Schulz, executive director of Philanthropy at HSU.

Gifts ranged in amount, going to a variety of causes and helping hundreds of students across academic disciplines thrive at HSU.

“Philanthropy is not only about helping students achieve their dreams of a college education. It’s also about ensuring students receive the highest quality educational experience possible,” says Pittman-Schulz.

The Humboldt Dreamer Scholarship, established in 2015 by HSU Advancement Foundation Board Chair Heather Bernikoff (’93, Psychology/Pre-Med), received $1,500 in gifts to help undocumented students go to college. One scholarship recipient writes:

“College was always presented as too big of a hurdle for someone like me, with little resources, low income, and being born outside the US. What motivates me is the education I’m receiving, being in such a beautiful place, and the pride it brings my mom.”

Another donation was established in memory of Jeffrey S. Navarro, an HSU alumnus who died in a car accident in January, 2015. With a gift of $3,000, his family set up the Jeffrey S. Navarro Mentorship Program, which helps Environmental Resources Engineering students graduate and develop into engineering professionals.

“Jeff had an aura about him that pulled people into his sphere of existence,” says Navarro’s father, Rene. “He looked to the better nature in people, and was the most loyal, trustworthy person you could hope to know. We wanted his qualities to live on through the mentorship program.”

In addition, $19,000 in charitable grants funded a bilingual children’s book called The Extraordinary Voyage of Kamome: A Tsunami Boat Comes Home written by Geology Professors Emerita Lori Dengler and Amya Miller, and illustrated by Amy Uyeki. The book was the first publishing effort by the new Humboldt State University Press, launched in Nov. 2015 by the HSU Library.

University Police Chief Donn Peterson also established the UPD Scholarship Endowment Fund with a personal gift of $2,500, which will support students doing service-oriented work in the community. And the Go Green Fund Campaign, set up by the Humboldt State Advancement Foundation, raised about $9,600 toward the $100,000 goal for Go Green student interns to focus on campus energy efficient projects.

To learn more about giving opportunities and philanthropy at Humboldt State University, call 707.826.5101 or send an email to You can also visit