SDSU receives the biggest philanthropic donation in its history

by Jocelyn Moran, Senior Staff Writer

Ron Fowler, Executive Chairman for the San Diego Padres, along with his wife Alexis Fowler, a San Diego State alum, are donating $25 million to the College of Business Administration, the largest philanthropic donation in SDSU’s history.

The announcement was made by SDSU President Elliot Hirshman on Oct. 26 on Aztec Circle Drive in front of the Education and Business Administration building. SDSU faculty, students and alumni attended the event.

Hirshman said the university is renaming the College of Business Administration to the “Fowler College of Business Administration,” in honor of the contributions made by the Fowlers.

This is the first time SDSU has named a college after a person or family.

Hirshman listed several new programs that will now be offered to give students in the College of Business Administration more opportunities.

The Fowler Scholars Program will provide scholarships, internships and entrepreneurial opportunities for students in the College of Business Administration.

The Fowler Professorships will recruit and retain faculty members who can enhance the college with innovative thinking.

The Fowler Lecture Series will support visiting annual lecturers who will spend a week on campus.

The Fowler International Experience will support students wishing to study abroad and give international internships.

Ron Fowler said he thinks SDSU’s College of Business Administration is a good business school, but they want to make it a better business school.


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“We want to make it more known internationally and in the U.S. We want to improve its rankings,” he said. “The San Diego community is going to be an entrepreneurial driven community in the foreseeable future, and we need to be able to attract the world class faculty and retain the faculty.”

The Fowlers have made several previous contributions which have supported student athletes, the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center and the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

“It was (Fowler’s) hard work and his integrity that has led him to be this shining example for the students of SDSU and a great example for our business committee of getting involved and giving back,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Ron Fowler said he was the first in his family to go to college and he wants to see more diverse students going to college.

“A lot of money is going to recruit kids who can make a difference in this community, kids of color,” Fowler said. “Kids who can really stand up and go to school here because the money is available to give them the scholarships to go here so they don’t have the financial problems they otherwise would have.”

Faulconer thanked the Fowlers at the ceremony.

“I am a very proud alum today, but an even prouder mayor,”  he said. “What an incredible gift not only to this university, but to this entire city. With leaders in the community like Ron and Alexis, we are going to serve future generations of San Diegans so very well.”

Steve Fisher, head coach of the SDSU men’s basketball team, Stacie Terry, head coach of the SDSU women’s basketball team, and both teams shared their appreciation for the Fowlers as well.

“What you and Alexis have done for SDSU and the city of San Diego has elevated all of us,” Fisher said. “The two of you have given so much to all of us, and none of us today will forget what the two of you have done for SDSU. ”

Mary Ruth Carleton, president and CEO of the Campanile Foundation, said the donation pushes past the Campaign for SDSU’s $750 million goal.

“On behalf of Alexis and myself, we are very pleased to be fortunate enough to make the money in this great city, and we feel very good about giving it back,” Fowler said.