Foundation News: February 2016


SF State Foundation News: A monthly newsletter for the board of directors


SF State's delegation at the recent Socially Responsible Investing Workshop

SF State's delegation at the recent Socially Responsible Investing Workshop included (l-r): Foundation President Robert Nava, University Vice President Ron Cortez, Board Members Taylor Safford, Kimberly Brandon, John Gumas, Herb Myers, Brent Stranathan, and Neda Nobari, and alumna Tanvi Pradhan. (Not pictured: Associate Vice President Anne Harris and Board Secretary Venesia Thompson-Ramsay.)

Last month, I was delighted to join several of my colleagues from SF State and the Foundation Board in Palos Verdes for the Socially Responsible Investing Workshop hosted by the AGB Foundation Leadership Forum. The workshop focused on two issues: (1) mitigating risk and enhancing long-term returns while considering environmental, social, and governance factors in investing and (2) responding to calls from stakeholders for stewardship of good capital. I had the privilege of sitting on a panel with alumna Tanvi Pradhan and Tim O’Hara of Strategic Investment Group to speak about the ways we at the SF State Foundation have successfully implemented responsible investing strategies. We should all be proud of the SF State Foundation’s status as a trailblazer in this area.

Owing in part to several recent and very generous gifts, we have moved closer to our campaign goal by more than $3 million since the last issue of this newsletter (scroll down for our results to date). This is outstanding news not only in terms of our progress on the campaign but more importantly because it means our students and faculty are receiving the support they deserve to reach their own goals. Collectively we are taking the University to a new level of excellence  yet another reason to be proud of SF State.

Robert Nava
SF State Foundation President



Photo of a fountain with Napa vineyards in the backgroundA reminder that this year's SF State Foundation Advance will take place in conjunction with the next Board of Directors meeting on February 26-27 in Napa. The weekend will include an orientation session for members, discussion of the University's 5-year strategic vision, formulation of the Foundation's role in achieving this vision, a conversation about the status of women in STEM, and an update on Bold. Thinking. The Campaign for SF State. David Bass, senior director from the Association of Governing Boards, will facilitate a session focused on the Board's work and mission. Additionally, the weekend will include a dinner hosted by President Les Wong and a special performance by the Alexander String Quartet, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.



Laurie Pitman speaks to a crowd about Nigeria

Board member Laurie Pitman facilitates exhibit on Nigeria
The poignant exhibit, on view in the J. Paul Leonard Library until April 1, features historical artifacts related to the people and culture of Nigeria, where Pitman's parents worked as medical missionaries

President Les Wong speaks with an African American parishioner at Super Sunday event

SF State leaders' student recruitment initiative
For the 11th straight year, leaders from San Francisco State University will partner with San Francisco's historically African American churches to inform churchgoing students and their families about the importance of college.

A young man looks through a movie camera viewfinder

Three Alumni Nominated for Academy Awards
Nominees included Rich McBride (B.A. '90) for Best Visual Effects for The Revenant, Jonas Rivera (B.A. '96) for Best Animated Feature Film for Inside Out, and Christopher Scarabosio (B.A. '90) for Best Sound Mixing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Debate champions Aliyah Shaheed and Genelle Murray in Malcolm X Plaza

SF State Debate Duo Bests Undefeated Ivy League Team
Seniors Aliyah Shaheed and Genelle Murray made SF State history at the Cal Swing national speech and debate tournament held at UC Berkeley in January when they went head-to-head with the nation's top-ranked debate team from Harvard -- and won.

Campaign progress through January 2016: $39 million raised toward a goal of $150 million


$800,000 bequest intention from emerita faculty member Edie Folb to support scholarships in Communication Studies, Women & Gender Studies, Creative Writing, and English Language and Literature

$500,000 from the W.K. Keck Foundation to support the Causeways initiative, which creates structured pathways to help undergraduates persist and successfully graduate

$312,000 from emeritus faculty member R. Gene Geisler to create an endowed scholarship in empirical political science in the College of Liberal and Creative Arts

$100,000 from emeritus faculty member Herbert Zettl to establish an endowed scholarship in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts

$100,000 bequest intention from an emerita faculty member to fund an endowed scholarship for undergraduate students who are single parents



Total Gifts as of 2/15/16:     $10,369,900

2015-16 Goal:                       $16,000,000

% of Goal:                                      64.8%


Year to date 3-year comparison toward $16 million goal: February 2014 = $6,037,267 (40.2%); February 2015 = $7,442,893 (46.5%); February 2016 = $10,369,900 (64.8%)


February 26-27, 2016 - Board Advance & Meeting - Meritage Resort & Spa, Napa
June 23, 2016 - 3-5 p.m. - Annual Meeting & Board Meeting - Seven Hills Conference Room

 SF State Foundation
We are dedicated and dynamic volunteers who raise funds and advocate on behalf of San Francisco State University. Our commitment is to make the dream of higher education a reality. We furnish scholarships, evangelize on behalf of the University, and raise funds to support the programs that help create promising futures for students.

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