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Cal Poly is the Best In the West for 23rd Consecutive Year

Cal Poly has kept its streak alive for 23 years as best public-master’s university in the West, according to the latest edition of the U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges guidebook. In the rankings released Sept. 9, Cal Poly tied for 10th in the magazine’s overall list of the West’s best universities, which includes 116 public and private institutions in 15 states, that provide “a full range of undergraduate and master’s-level programs but few, if any, doctoral programs.” “We are humbled by the recognition of this prestigious ranking,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “It is always gratifying to see Cal Poly honored for our singular Learn by Doing approach to education. Read more on this year's rankings.

Retired Cal Poly Professor Donates $250,000 to Wine & Viticulture Department

Paul Fountain, retired Cal Poly viticulture and fruit science professor, has donated $250,000 to the university’s Wine & Viticulture Department so that it can replant its distressed teaching vineyard and make additional needed improvements. Fountain, who oversaw the first planting of a three-acre section of the campus Trestle Vineyard 30 years ago, has always been interested in the art of making good wine. However, the science behind cultivating good wine grapes and teaching others how to do the same is what inspired his donation. “I still remember back in those days how we had to beg for money from companies for things like irrigation parts and trellises,” Fountain said. “The state budget pays for lectures in the classroom, but at Cal Poly, we provide more than that.” The gift will be used to replant and rehabilitate six-acres of the 12-acre vineyard and create an endowment that will pay for ongoing maintenance costs of the teaching vineyard for years to come. Read more on Fountain's donation.

Cal Poly Announces Updates to Master Plan Process

Cal Poly has released an updated campus concept map and announced several key decisions as part of the ongoing process of updating its master plan, an initiative that the university began last fall. The master plan details the locations, sizes and types of facilities and land uses needed to support the university’s Learn by Doing mission. The information included in the concept map released today is based on extensive input from the campus and community on several initial conceptual plans first unveiled in April. The new concept map presents refined ideas and concepts under consideration — but does not indicate a specific proposed master plan. For additional information on the master plan update process or to comment on the ongoing update, please visit

Cal Poly Honored for Efforts to Save Energy and Water This Summer

Cal Poly and has been honored with state awards for efforts to conserve energy and water. The university received two sustainability best practice plaques July 21 at the 2015 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference in San Francisco. Cal Poly has received 24 awards in the 11 years the statewide competition has been held. The competition is open to California’s 112 community colleges, 23 California State University and 10 University of California campuses, as well as private colleges and universities in the Golden State. The goal is to showcase innovative and effective energy-efficiency projects and sustainable operations that can be adopted by other institutions. At Cal Poly, work is underway to compete a $4 million project to install lighting, cooling and heating retrofits this summer — a project that received the 2015 Sustainability Innovation Award for its financing and repayment arrangement.The university also garnered the 2015 Water Efficiency/Site Water Quality sustainability award — the third time Cal Poly has won that category — for its 16-page drought plan. Find out more here.

Cal Poly Ethnic Studies Student Receives CSU Trustees’ Award

Mario Espinoza, Cal Poly's CSU Trustees Award winner for 2015Cal Poly comparative ethnic studies student Mario Espinoza of Modesto, Calif., was awarded the 2015 California State University (CSU) Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. The awardss are presented annually to one student from each of the CSU system’s 23 campuses. Honorees are selected for their superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. As part of the recognition, Espinoza will receive a $6,000 scholarship. Espinoza, a first-generation college student, will begin his senior year in the fall. Since transferring to Cal Poly from Cuesta College in fall 2014, Espinoza has been active on campus as a peer counselor for the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex and Allies) group, co-chair of the cultural club Movimiento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlán (M.E.X.A.), and volunteer at the Cal Poly Pride Center and MultiCultural Center. In the community, Espinoza is a volunteer event coordinator with the AIDS Support Network. Find out more.