Supporters Give More than $7 Million for Students and Programs - Humboldt State Now

Supporters Give More than $7 Million for Students and Programs

Humboldt State University received more than $7 million in charitable support in 2014-15, including a $1 million gift from the Bernard Osher Foundation and a $220,000 bequest for the University Library.


In the last year, more than 3,000 alumni gave charitable contributions to Humboldt State, including more than $221,000 to the Humboldt Loyalty Fund, which supports special projects that directly impact current students. Parents and families were also important partners of HSU, contributing more than $49,000 to the Parent & Family Fund.

These gifts are part of the annual charitable giving report compiled by the CSU system. In total, giving to the 23-campus California State University reached more than $314 million in the last year.

For the second year in a row, Humboldt State did something innovative by inviting donors into the decision-making process. Through the Donor Voice program, Humboldt State asked its supporters to help select projects that were prioritized by the campus community. Donors who made gifts to the Humboldt Loyalty Fund or the Humboldt Parent & Family Fund were asked to rank the potential projects based on their preferences.

The projects chosen by our donor community included: improvements to the common spaces in Founders Hall; collaborative research stations in the Library; the development of a Geospatial Lab in the Natural Resources Building; the renovation of a Science D storage room into a multi-purpose laboratory; cameras for 3D digital motion capture in the Biomechanics Lab; and campus-wide access to state-of-the-art literacy software. In addition to the projects above, longtime parent donors Richard and Sandy Lambie funded the purchase of cutting edge psychological testing instruments, teaching materials, and lab equipment in the Psychology Department.

The University Library received a $220,000 donation from the estate of Malcolm Buchanan (‘50, English), who worked in the library as a student and was motivated to become a librarian and educator. The funds will go on to support renovations to the library and student internships.

“We are very grateful for Malcolm Buchanan’s generous support for the HSU Library,” says Cyril Oberlander, Dean of the University Library. “His gift recognizes the importance of a library in academic experiences and shaping the future of students.”

This year, Bill Joy (‘66, Physical Education) established a $25,000 Charitable Gift Annuity with Humboldt State. Bill’s charitable gift annuity not only provides him with a stable retirement income for the rest of his life along with a range of immediate and long-term tax benefits, it’s enabling him to do more than he thought he could do to touch the lives of Humboldt State students. Bill Joy embodies the spirit of Humboldt State by looking ahead to help the next generation.

In late 2014, The Bernard Osher Foundation gave $1 million to further build an endowment for HSU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Humboldt State is home to a robust OLLI program that serves lifelong learners over 50. OLLI creates opportunities for academic engagement, civic involvement, and personal growth. The program offers numerous classes and experiences that enrich the lives of nontraditional students in the Humboldt community. “The Osher Foundation feels certain that OLLI at HSU has a bright future ahead,” says Sheila Rocker Heppe, OLLI’s director.

Also this year, the Food for Thought Program was established to provide food security for HSU students. The response from the community was overwhelming with nearly 500 donors making gifts approaching a total of $40,000 in support of hungry students. Nearly 6,000 students were fed because of donor support for the Food for Thought program.

The School of Business received a gift commitment of $175,000 over five years to fund internships from The McLean Foundation. The McLean award will pay student honorariums and provide program support.

HSU Athletics launched the Lumberjack Legacy Fund. The Lumberjack Legacy Fund positively impacts our student-athletes in the classroom, on the playing field, and beyond. The Fund helps with the cost of student-athlete scholarships, allowing current student-athletes the opportunity to build their own legacies through academics and intercollegiate competition.

KHSU had a strong year, with underwriting support increasing by $19,684, and listener support increasing by $4,085. Also this year, KHSU expanded its offerings by bringing the BBC to the Humboldt community. It’s worth noting that Nielsen Audio reported that 34,000 people listen to KHSU each week, making KHSU the most listened-to radio station in Humboldt County.

This year, HSU launched the Humboldt Loyalty Partners program. By making a Partnership Pledge—a monthly recurring gift—donors to HSU join a group of over 120 alumni, parents, students, and other supporters who are committed to the Humboldt State experience.

Donor support was critical this year in providing opportunities and financial support for hardworking students. This year, 301 students received HSU Scholarships for a total of $458,044; 131 students received HSU department awards for a total of $276,825; and 266 students received departmental stipends and research awards for a total of $537,305.

All charitable contributions in support of HSU’s students and programs are accepted and managed by the HSU Advancement Foundation. Heather Bernikoff-Raboy, Chair of the HSU Advancement Foundation Board of Directors, was encouraged by the participation and generosity of HSU’s donors this last year. “Students today face daunting financial pressures—much more so than I did as a student. Our people, especially our young people, should have unmitigated opportunities for education and learning. It is one of the most gratifying investments a person can make, one which produces a lifetime of dividends for that person and a society that desperately needs people educated in all forms.”

“Frankly, I get quite emotional when I read the stories of HSU’s donors,” Bernikoff-Raboy added. “They are participating in a sacred act—to thoughtfully consider the future of someone they are likely never to meet. It is difficult to express the gratitude and pride I feel toward HSU donors, whose vision and generosity help strengthen, support and grow opportunities for education.” 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 online.