Cal Poly Announces New Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign

The Power of Doing: The Campaign for Learn by Doing sets $700 Million Goal by 2021

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly today officially launched The Power of Doing: The Campaign for Learn by Doing, the largest fundraising initiative in university history, geared toward supporting the philosophy that has come to define a Cal Poly education.

Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong formally announced the launch of the $700 million comprehensive philanthropic campaign at this year’s Evening of Green & Gold, an annual event recognizing the university’s leading volunteers and supporters.

“This is a pivotal time in Cal Poly’s history, when we are charting our future while staying true to the core tenets that have always defined who we are,” Armstrong said. “The Power of Doing campaign ushers in a new era for Cal Poly that will bring a renewed sense of commitment and excitement to the university while ensuring that our reputation for excellence continues for many generations to come.”

The second comprehensive philanthropic campaign in Cal Poly’s history, The Power of Doing will focus on securing funding for the educational practice that has distinguished Cal Poly since its founding in 1901. Funds raised will support three primary campaign pillars: Empowering Students; Empowering Excellence; and Empowering Innovation. These pillars will be used to fund a variety of university priorities, including state-of-the-art facilities, expansion of student-faculty research, and enhancement of project-based learning opportunities, among a host of other areas. Additionally, funds from this campaign will help increase scholarship opportunities, such as the Cal Poly Scholars Program, which seeks to recruit and retain high-achieving, low-income students from California high schools while providing support through financial, academic, and community resources.

“Many students might not realize the extent to which private donations have helped improve their Cal Poly experience,” said Jasmin Fashami, Cal Poly’s ASI President for the 2018-19 school year. “I’m grateful to the alumni and donors whose generous support over the years has made an impact on so many students’ everyday lives, including my own.  This campaign will hopefully show current Cal Poly students the importance of giving back after they graduate.”

Cal Poly has set a goal of $700 million by the time the campaign concludes in June 2021 after nine years. To date the university has already raised over $556 million from over 51,000 donors. This includes notable major gifts from alumni including William H. and Cheryl K. Swanson, Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer, and William L. and Linda J. Frost.

Campaign Co-Chairs include Basia and Troy Gillespie, John and Tracy Ronca, Rick and Jill Stollmeyer, and William H. and Cheryl K. Swanson. Honorary Co-Chairs include President Emeritus Warren Baker and Carly Baker, James and Suzanne Boswell, and William L. and Linda J. Frost.

“The theme of the campaign, The Power of Doing, is about the future of Cal Poly,” said William H. Swanson, the former chairman and CEO of the Raytheon Company, Cal Poly alumnus (B.S. Industrial Engineering ‘72), and board chair of the Cal Poly Foundation since 2014. “A Cal Poly education is world class. It was the foundation for my career. I am proud and honored to support this campaign, which will ensure that Cal Poly continues to set a high bar for excellence, innovation, and student achievement by providing the necessary tools to put countless future students on a path to success.”

“We are excited at the prospect of this new campaign helping to cultivate a culture of philanthropy at Cal Poly,” said Matthew Ewing, vice president of development and alumni engagement, and CEO of the Cal Poly Foundation. “Donors are partners in helping Cal Poly thrive and serve our students in the best ways possible, and we are fortunate to have an extremely dedicated and engaged community who will ensure Learn by Doing always stays at our core.”

About The Power of Doing: The Campaign for Learn By Doing
The Power of Doing: The Campaign for Learn by Doing was launched by Cal Poly with the goal of raising $700 million to support the university’s acclaimed practice of Learn by Doing by focusing on Empowering Students, Empowering Excellence, and Empowering Innovation. This includes funding for state-of-the-art facilities, expanded student-faculty research, and enhanced project-based learning opportunities, among others. With a concerted effort to mobilize the entire university community, the nine-year campaign aims to reinforce Cal Poly’s hands-on approach to education for generations to come. To learn more about The Power of Doing campaign, visit

About Cal Poly
Founded in 1901 and part of the renowned California State University system since 1960, Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive polytechnic public university located in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Known for its Learn by Doing approach, small class sizes and open access to expert faculty, Cal Poly is a distinctive learning community whose more than 21,000 academically motivated students enjoy an unrivaled hands-on educational experience that prepares them to lead successful personal and professional lives. For more information, visit

Contact: Matt Lazier

May 3, 2019

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