The Last Word

Imagine What Your Support Can Do

President Armstrong on how the Cal Poly community can help shape a brighter future in 2019.

President Armstrong at last year's Fall Conference. Photo by Chris Leschinsky

If you’ve read through the rest of this special Year in Review issue, you’ve seen incredible stories of lives transformed by Learn by Doing. You’ve read about the accomplishments of student and faculty researchers who have made groundbreaking discoveries and developed new technologies. You’ve seen campus reshaped to better serve the needs of our students.

Much of this work has been made possible only with the support of our alumni and friends. Private donors helped us build new athletics and animal science facilities and have funded scholarships and resources that give our students and faculty opportunities to conduct research.

A community of supporters — alumni, parents, friends in the San Luis Obispo area, donors — is our most critical asset as we continue to work to become the best university we can be. Over the next two years, we are going to be working harder than ever to build and engage that community.

Elsewhere in this issue, we’ve spoken about the Cal Poly Opportunity Fee and how that new initiative will open doors for qualified students who never thought they would be able to afford a Cal Poly education. With the funds that fee is projected to raise, we think that we can hire 25 new faculty members and significantly expand scholarships for low-income and first-generation college students.

With a strong community of supporters like you all working together, it’s easy to imagine what we can accomplish in 2019 and beyond.

We also have individual supporters who have expressed an interest in providing additional funding toward those same goals. Imagine how much more of an impact we can make for our students with twice as many scholarships and 50 new faculty members.

We’re set to break ground on an ambitious new academic facility that will provide research and instructional space for students from several of our colleges, funded by a combination of public dollars and major contributions from private donors. Imagine even more classrooms, more labs, more state-of-the-art facilities where Learn by Doing happens.

This spring, Cal Poly will launch its second comprehensive philanthropic campaign — our opportunity to lay out a more complete plan for how you can get involved and what your involvement will mean for Cal Poly students today and into the future. The generosity of people like you is absolutely critical in ensuring that the Learn by Doing tradition continues to thrive.

In the meantime, I invite each and every one of you to consider what you can do to contribute to a brighter future for Cal Poly and its students, from small regular gifts, to larger project-driven donations, to simply reaching out to your favorite college or department to volunteer your time and expertise.

With a strong community of supporters like you all working together, it’s easy to imagine what we can accomplish in 2019 and beyond.

On behalf of everyone here at Cal Poly, thank you for being a part of our progress over the past year, and for joining us as we work toward an even better future.