Skip to Content (Press Enter)
California State University, Fullerton

Titans of Giving

Cal State Fullerton will spotlight one of our “Titans of Giving” every Thursday. Our donors, through their generosity, enable the university to provide scholarships, endow chairs and professorships, help develop new centers and programs, and much more. Their commitment helps ensure that TITANS REACH HIGHER.

Robert Hodges

Robert R. Hodges

An endowment of $400,000 in the name of Robert Hodges, professor emeritus of English, has been established to support fellowships for undergraduates and graduate students pursuing academic degrees in English or comparative literature.

Remembered for his “sharp wit, keen perceptions and remarkable memory,” Hodges, who died Feb. 21 at the age 91, joined Cal State Fullerton’s Department of English in 1965 and retired in 1993. He was an important contributor to the development of the curriculum in English. During his 28 years of service, he taught American literature classes as well as undergraduate and graduate classes on the modern novel. An expert in the work of Polish-British novelist Joseph Conrad, Hodges penned a book called, “The Dual Heritage of Joseph Conrad.”

“Robert was unfailingly devoted to his students, and it was his wish that a generous bequest be left to the English department to create a fellowship to assist future students,” said Howard Seller, his longtime friend and also a professor emeritus of English. “Although this wasn’t expressly noted in his estate, as the trustee, I knew this is what he would have wanted.”

The gift is designated to support both the annual Robert R. Hodges Fellowship and to create the corpus of the Robert R. Hodges Fellowship Endowment.

If you would like to help support this fund, visit


Emeriti of California State University, Fullerton

The CSUF Emeriti Association has a long tradition of contributions to the university through its scholarship endowment funds, its library endowment fund, and its annual contribution in support of the Guardian Scholars program.

In response to the establishment of the Titan Emergency Funds to help students, faculty members, and staff employees impacted by the coronavirus crisis, the executive committee voted to provide a challenge grant of $1,957 to stimulate individual giving by emeriti members. The response from the emeriti was exceptionally generous with donations totaling $5,735.5. This triggered a second matching grant of $1,957 from the Vanguard Charitable Foundation bring the grand total to $9,649.54.

“Our emeriti represent thousands of cumulative years of service to CSUF,” said Jack Bedell, president of the Emeriti Association. “When we heard there were students and others hurting because of the implications of the virus, there was immediate response. Immediate! We hope others join in easing suffering in this most unusual of times.”

Craig Ihara

Craig Ihara

Craig Ihara, emeriti professor of philosophy who helped create the Asian American Studies Department, has committed to enhancing the two endowments he established years ago with a new, planned gift of $250,000. The Craig & Claire Ihara Endowment for Philosophy and the Craig & Claire Ihara Endowment for Asian American Studies provides support to faculty, students and the departments. Over the years, Ihara has contributed more than $150,000 to these endowments, the Center for Oral and Public History, the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, and Project Rebound. This additional gift will expand his support. 

“Even though I’m retired, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the campus is still my community and I want to continue to contribute to its success,” he said. 

Support the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Paul DeLand

Paul & Sara DeLand

Paul DeLand, an emeritus professor and chair of mathematics and his wife, Sara, have pledged an annual $5,000 fellowship over five years ($25,000 total) to support the Math Summer Research Program (MSRP). Created several years ago in the Department of Mathematics to provide faculty-mentored research opportunities for our students, this recent gift from Paul and Sara DeLand will create the DeLand Mathematics Fellowships to provide annual support to fund students participating in the MSRP. The DeLand’s gift will lessen the financial burden on our students, create opportunities to develop oral and written communication skills, enhance graduate school or workforce preparedness, and lead to a more robust research infrastructure in the department. On average, the MSRP, sponsors 15 students and 10 faculty members. Private support is instrumental to create access for our students to participate in MSRP. 

Support the DeLand Mathematics Fellowships.

Nicholas and Lee Begovich

Nicholas and Lee Begovich

Longtime university supporters Nicholas and Lee Begovich have committed to a $10 million planned gift to Cal State Fullerton to benefit gravitational-wave, engineering and computer science faculty and student research. 

Over the past 50 years, the Begoviches’ philanthropy to the university has mostly supported the arts.  More than a decade ago, they donated $1 million to the Art Department, prompting the naming of the Main Art Gallery to the Nicholas and Lee Begovich Gallery. In recognition of their latest significant gift to support gravitational-wave research, the university’s academic and research center also will bear their name: the Nicholas and Lee Begovich Center for Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy. 

Of the gift, $7 million will support faculty and student gravitational-wave research in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. This includes building a state-of-the-art laboratory and upgrading computational resources to allow students and faculty to continue playing a key role in future discoveries of gravitational waves. The remaining $3 million will support interdisciplinary research, new courses and electives, student projects, early-career faculty members, and research in sustainable energy and power, in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Support the Center for Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy.

Bob and Terri Niccum

Bob and Terri Niccum

Bob ’68, ‘84 (B.A. psychology, M.B.A. business administration) and Terri ’73,’84 (B.A. English, M.A. communications) made a gift last year to endow The Bob & Terri Niccum New Music Scholarship in the School of Music. The Niccums established the scholarship to provide annual support for an undergraduate or graduate student who is a music major participating in the New Music Ensemble. The Niccums met on campus, and in September celebrated the 50th anniversary of that meeting. In honor of their special milestone anniversary, the Niccums decided to make this amazing gift to create the scholarship.

Support the School of Music.

Quyen Tien

Quyen Tien

Quyen Tien ‘15 (B.A. communications) was thankful for the support and opportunities she received through a scholarship when she was a student at CSUF. A recipient of the Bergstrom Family Scholarship, Tien has found success in her career and wants to pay it forward to current students in the College of Communications. Through her donation, the Tien Family Scholarship will be awarded for the first time this spring and will provide an annual scholarship of $1,000 to students with financial need who have overcome a personal or financial challenge while at CSUF. Tien believes that the Bergstrom Family Scholarship made a difference in her education and she hopes her family can do the same for others.

Support the College of Communications.

Mercury Systems Logo

Mercury Systems Inc.

Mercury Systems Inc. has donated a $300,000 gift to support the “Intelligent Radar System” research project, directed by Kiran George, professor of computer engineering. This project will allow the College of Engineering and Computer Science to build out capacity in artificial intelligence, including developing curriculum, advancing research and engaging students in projects. Tony Girard, Mercury’s chief technology officer, is one of the newest members of the  Dean’s College Leadership Council.  

Support the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Helen and Pete Maxwell

Helen and Pete Maxwell

Helen and Pete Maxwell have pledged $200,000 to support the Guardian Scholars program with annual scholarship support of $50,000 for four years. This is their largest gift ever to CSUF. The couple was introduced to the Guardian Scholars program a few years ago and never looked back. Aside from scholarship support, the Maxwells have donated funds for emergency housing, equipment for the new Center for Scholars and each year take current Guardian Scholars to the Rotary Chili Cook-Off and Angels baseball game.

Support the Guardian Scholars program.

Cisco Logo


Cisco — through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation — has provided a $300,000 grant to build the College of Engineering and Computer Science capacity in IoT, or internet of things, curriculum and project experiences. As industry grapples with the influences of new technologies, this grant will help better prepare students for the workforce by exposing them to leading companies in the IoT space and providing hands-on learning opportunities.

Support the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Dan Black

Dan Black

Alumnus Dan Black, through The Black Family Trust, has been a longtime supporter of CSUF. He recently made a $1 million campaign lead gift during the last fiscal year; and supports physics; the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Business and Economics; ROTC and Concert Under the Stars. Black’s main focus is providing support that directly benefits students. Karl Freels, Dan’s grandson and trustee of the Black Family Trust, serves on College of NSM’s Dean’s Board.

Contribute to the Black Family Trust Physics Fellows.