Monday, July 26, 2010
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation today announced an award of $42 million for an endowment at Cal Poly Pomona to increase access to educational opportunities. The grant represents the largest cash gift in the history of the California State University system.
“In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of our founder,W.K. Kellogg, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is proud that this grant will benefit Cal Poly Pomona in its efforts to extend and bolster educational opportunities for current and aspiring students,” said Sterling K. Speirn, the foundation’s president and CEO. “Mr. Kellogg was a strong believer in higher education, and his vision of ‘investing in people’ has translated into the foundation’s fundamental belief that access to a high-quality education is vital to enhancing the lives of vulnerable youth.”
According to a statement released by the Kellogg Foundation, "This challenge grant, to be given over five years, significantly bolsters the university’s ability to reach out and serve underrepresented communities in Southern California, including first-generation college students and their families, military veterans and emancipated foster youth."
Responding to the announcement, University President Michael Ortiz said: "This will be transformational. With these resources we will be able to change lives and contribute to the economic growth and prosperity of the region. The CSUs have long been the gateway to opportunity for generations of Californians, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is helping to ensure that the gateway remains open.”
The gift comes at a challenging time for public universities in California, with state support shrinking and concern over the future of higher education growing. Kellogg believes that with this contribution to the university’s endowment, "the foundation is making an important investment in expanding access to education for all students."
Speirn further stated: "The W.K. Kellogg Foundation's mission is to support children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. As the twelfth most ethnically diverse university in the United States, Cal Poly Pomona's deep commitment to and track record of providing access to quality college education for students of color strongly aligns with the foundation's work to support racial healing and to remove systemic barriers that hold some children back."