|California State University Trustees Approve New Name
January 22, 2008 :: No. 135
The California State University Board of Trustees today approved the naming of Cal State Fullerton’s business college in honor of its chief donor, Steven G. Mihaylo, a Class of ’69 graduate.
The unanimous vote of the board makes Cal State Fullerton home to the Steven G. Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.
It’s the second major development this month for the state’s largest business college. Mihaylo’s $30 million gift to his alma mater, announced Jan. 3, is the largest gift in the university’s history and fourth largest in the CSU.
“I’m very pleased for the opportunity to recognize Steve Mihaylo for his generous contribution to Cal State Fullerton,” said Chancellor Charles Reed at the meeting of CSU trustees in Long Beach. “Your gift — which supports students, faculty and the institution,” he said to Mihaylo, “sets an example for all the citizens of the state — a strong example of the importance of giving back.”
Mihaylo nodded, saying “Somebody has to draw a line in the sand, take a stand in giving back. I’m happy to be that person.”
“Steve told us that he wanted to make a contribution to the total university, and he has,” said CSUF President Milton A. Gordon. “Steve’s gift is really important for the future.”
Mihaylo said his gift recognizes “Cal State Fullerton for the great job it does” and, he plans to continue to work with the university to help further its efforts. “I figure I have a good 20-30 years, and you have me for the duration.”
“What you have done at Cal State Fullerton — that will last forever,” said Reed.
Earlier this month, when Mihaylo was on campus to announce his latest gift, he said: “I’m really happy that I was able to get a quality education at Cal State Fullerton.”
The backdrop for his comments was the five-story $87.5 million business building under construction that also bears his name.
“Without my education at Cal State Fullerton, I wouldn’t be in a position to do what I’m doing. … I’ve always believed that the only way we can level the playing field for our young people … is to have a well-educated, well-informed society.
“One person can be the catalyst; one person can provide the leadership, but it takes literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people, like all of you and all the people who have worked so hard to get this building built behind me, as part of a team effort.”
Shortly after graduating from Cal State Fullerton, Mihaylo moved to Arizona, where he founded Inter-Tel Inc., a manufacturer of voice and data network equipment for small to mid-size businesses worldwide. Mihaylo served as CEO until February 2006, the year annual revenues topped more than $458 million; the company was sold last year.
In 2004-05, Mihaylo provided the leadership gift of $4.5 million for the business college’s new building, located on the southeast corner of campus. When it opens in the fall, Steven G. Mihaylo Hall will provide expanded and state-of-the art facilities for students majoring in business administration. The building will feature a 250-seat lecture hall, more than 30 modern classrooms, faculty and administrative offices and interactive technology labs, plus 10,000 square feet of collaborative working space for students.
Mihaylo’s $30 million gift will enable advances in four specific areas: endowed chairs; faculty support for their research and retention; student scholarships; and programmatic initiatives, including the honors program in business, enhanced career placement services and expansion of the MBA program.
“His magnanimous gift is not only an expression of gratitude to his alma mater, but the strongest possible vote of confidence in this university’s future,” said Gordon.
“This gift from Steve is transformational to Cal State Fullerton. This is a turning point at our 50th anniversary, when all becomes possible ahead of us,” said Pamela Hillman, CSUF vice president for university advancement.
“Steve Mihaylo has presented this school with a pivotal opportunity,” noted Anil Puri, dean of the college. “His transformational gift will underwrite expanded faculty recruitment and retention efforts, and the innovative programs required to deliver a world-class business education for the young people of Southern California.”
Pamela McLaren, Public Affairs, 657-278-4852
Valerie Orleans, Public Affairs, 657-278-4540
Paula Selleck, Public Affairs, 657-278-4856
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