CSU Stanislaus Receives $250K Seed Gift for One Purpose

July 17, 2014


Local Entrepreneurs Matt and Maria Swanson Create Endowment to Support Student Success Through Scholarships and Motivate Future Contributions

Matt and Maria​Local entrepreneurs Matt and Maria Swanson have made a $250,000 seed gift to establish the One Purpose endowment at California State University, Stanislaus. The endowment will support the One Purpose annual fund drive, a new effort aiming to raise $1 million for scholarships for high-achieving students during a six-week period in the fall.

“The goal of One Purpose is to keep our region’s best and brightest students right here in the Central Valley so that they can become our next generation of community and business leaders,” said CSU Stanislaus President Joseph F. Sheley. “Matt and Maria Swanson have been friends of the University for many years, and this generous gift represents their very significant investment in the future of our students and our region.”

The One Purpose fund drive, which begins Aug. 28 and ends Oct. 9, will organize more than 300 volunteers from the campus and community into 24 fundraising teams collectively striving to reach the $1 million goal. The Swanson gift is independent of the fund drive, but is intended to be the seed that emboldens the new campaign and motivates the community to participate. Earnings from the endowment in future years will supplement the funds raised by volunteers.

Matt Swanson was president of the CSU Stanislaus Foundation from 2008 to 2012, and he and Maria have made numerous gifts supporting CSU Stanislaus athletics and sponsoring events that help create connections between the campus and the community. And as owners of a number of local companies, they have seen firsthand the impact CSU Stanislaus graduates can have on the region.

“Running a business in today’s climate requires talent and training and an ability to adapt to technology,” Matt Swanson said. “Our family of companies have several CSU Stanislaus graduates in senior leadership roles. The university is the clear leader in the development and preparation of the Central Valley’s future workforce.”

Shirley Pok, CSU Stanislaus’ Vice President for University Advancement, said excitement is building both on campus and in the community about One Purpose. The Swanson gift is a shining example of that, she said.

“With this gift, the Swansons have planted a seed for the future growth of One Purpose while also serving to inspire our volunteers as they embark on the inaugural year of the campaign,” Pok said. “The direct impact of this investment is undeniable, but the wind it puts in the sails of everyone involved with One Purpose is just as critical to our mission of supporting student success.”

James Leonard