Cal Poly Student Affairs Receives Gift to Fund Tanklage Family Homelessness Initiative

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The estate of the late Carole Tanklage has donated a revenue-generating commercial real estate property that will fund a Cal Poly initiative aimed at ending student homelessness.  

The real estate gift will fund the Tanklage Family Initiative to End Homelessness, which Mrs. Tanklage initially established with a three-year gift totaling $150,000 in 2018. Mrs. Tanklage, who passed away in 2020, originally created the initiative in 2018 in honor of her late husband, Cal Poly alumnus Donald Tanklage (Architectural Engineering, ’57), to assist Cal Poly students struggling with homelessness and housing instability.    

Since its inception, the fund has provided more than 100 struggling students with on- and off-campus housing support.

“Both my parents were always committed to a college degree and to assisting those who may be dealing with issues of homelessness or are in need of financial assistance,” said Lynne Tanklage, daughter of Carole and Donald Tanklage. “They would have admired these students undertaking such difficulties to succeed in the face of many obstacles.”

To that end, the real estate property gifted by the Tanklage estate, which houses a KFC restaurant, will provide a yearly stream of rental proceeds to support the initiative well into the future.

“I am incredibly grateful for this gift from Carole Tanklage and her family, which will essentially act as an endowment by channeling annual revenues that will fund our shared efforts to end student homelessness at Cal Poly,” said Keith Humphrey, the university’s vice president for student affairs. “I am beyond thankful for her generosity and foresight, because this gift will greatly help fulfill our shared goal of erasing student homelessness on our campus.

“It is bittersweet to receive this gift after Carole’s passing, but we will honor her vision of student support through our continued efforts to ensure no student is homeless.”

Since its inception in 2018, the homelessness initiative has been administered through the Cal Poly Cares program, which provides one-time emergency grants to students unable to afford housing, tuition and other expenses essential to their success and well-being. Overall, Cal Poly Cares has provided more than $1.4 million in emergency grants since its creation in 2015.

In addition to its homelessness initiative, the Tanklage family has supported more than 50 Cal Poly students since 2006 through the Donald Tanklage Scholarship for Construction Management and Architecture students in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

About Cal Poly Student Affairs
Cal Poly’s Student Affairs supports student success through the Cal Poly experience by promoting Learn by Doing opportunities, delivering student-centered programs, encouraging personal growth, and empowering our students to live within a safe, healthy, inclusive and supportive environment. For more information, visit

Contact: Diego Abeloos

June 9, 2021

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