SDSU receives $2.3 million in donations

Photo by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor.

Photo by Monica Linzmeier, photo editor.

by Elpin Keshishzadeh

In the past week, San Diego State has received two separate donations of more than $1 million from SDSU alumnus Jack McGrory and former Qualcomm executive, Sacramento Kings vice chairman and Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa owner Jeff Jacobs.

McGrory donated $1.2 million, his second significant donation to The Campaign for SDSU, which will be used on the three areas most important to him: the Joan and Art Barron’s Veteran’s Center; the School of Public Affairs and the Department of Classics and Humanities.

“An area I’m really connected to is the Veteran’s Center because I was in the Marine Corps and when I went (to SDSU) we didn’t have any support, so you were on your own,” McGrory said. “The Veteran’s Center has done a great job of providing support for the men and women coming out of service and are getting an education.”

Jacobs has donated $1.1 million to SDSU Athletics to support student-athlete scholarships and the Aztec Basketball Performance Center.

This donation supports a plan announced on Nov. 13 by SDSU President Elliot Hirshman and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jim Sterk for a 23,500-square-foot basketball performance center. The project is scheduled to begin late Spring 2014.

“There is no better entertainment in San Diego than a sold-out and rocking Viejas Arena, especially as a dominant West Coast power and a growing prominent player on the national men’s basketball landscape,” Jacobs told SDSU NewsCenter. “It gives me great satisfaction knowing I can contribute to the success of Aztec basketball and the continued ascendance of the Aztecs to the top of men’s college basketball.”

The campaign began in 2007 as a fundraiser to help maintain programs and create new opportunities for faculty, staff and students. According to NewsCenter, the campaign has now received more than 44,500 gifts, which include 81 gifts of $1 million or more.

Campanile Foundation CEO Mary Carleton said that the campaign was launched as a comprehensive fundraiser to support all the programs, with scholarships as its biggest goal. The campaign encourages donors to support the areas closest to their hearts, Carleton said.

Although the campaign has helped enrich existing programs, it has also created new programs, Carleton said.

“Some programs have come to the forefront during the campaign, like the Veteran’s Center. Starting in 2007, the idea of having a Veteran’s Center and supporting veteran students wasn’t really something we were thinking about,” Carleton said.

McGrory’s donation will also continue to provide funds for the Jack McGrory Interns program in the School of Public Affairs, which creates internships for undergraduate students in the program.

Hirshman displayed his gratitude to NewsCenter about McGrory’s donation.

“As an alumnus, faculty member, Campanile Foundation board member and passionate supporter of public administration, student veterans and classics and humanities, Jack (McGrory) has made extraordinary contributions to our campus,” Hirshman said. “We are extremely grateful for his continuing support.”

The donations from McGrory and Jacobs bring The Campaign at SDSU to more than $435 million of the original $500 million goal set back in 2007.

Photo by Monica Linzmeier, Photo Editor