Recognizing an Educator’s Generosity

College of Education Honors Top Donor Emma Holmes

Cal State Fullerton’s College of Education will dedicate its dean’s suite, plus establish an endowed scholarship and faculty fellowship — all in recognition of Emma E. Holmes, emerita professor of education and child development.

Emma HolmesCaption: Emma E. Holmes, emerita professor of education and child developmentDownload Photo

A longtime campus donor who provides future teachers with financial support to complete their education, Holmes recently gave a gift of $775,000 to the College of Education — the college’s largest donation to date.

The dedication is at noon Thursday, April 7, in the CSUF College Park Building, Room 500. In addition to attending the naming celebration, Holmes will be recognized at the college’s annual Honor an Educator event April 9.

“Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for this wonderful honor of having the College of Education dean’s suite named in my honor. This was totally unexpected, and I happily gave to the college with no expectation of anything in return,” said Holmes, who now lives in Gainsville, Fla.

“I know the college needs support, and I believe in the quality of the programs and the excellence of the faculty. I wanted to help them continue the important work they are doing for this world. And now, the knowledge of this honor will give me happiness for the rest of my life.”

Decades of Dedication

Holmes, now in her 80s, and her late husband, Robert T. Holmes, emeritus professor of marketing at Cal State Long Beach, dedicated their careers to education and to supporting their respective universities.

She joined Cal State Fullerton in 1961 as a faculty member in math education, serving full time for 30 years and part time until 1997. She was granted emeritus status in 1990, and in 1992, her colleagues created the Holmes Math Award in her honor. Five years later, she endowed the award, which is presented annually to a student who has developed an exemplary master’s project in the area of mathematics.

In 2004, Holmes began funding two annual College of Education scholarships to support students pursuing the multiple subject credential and master’s in education degree with a concentration in curriculum and instruction.

Holmes’ latest gift will fund student scholarships and help to establish a faculty fellowship. The latter will give education faculty members release time to pursue research interests and work with local K-12 schools and community colleges in preparing future teachers.

The first recipient of the Dr. Emma E. Holmes Faculty Fellowship is Chris Street, professor of secondary education (see related story at right). Street will be spending six hours a week on the Westminster High School campus to implement his project “Preparing Students for College-Level Writing,” which addresses college readiness of high school students. 

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Media Contacts:
Bobbee Cline, University Advancement, 657-278-7567 or

Debra Cano Ramos, Public Affairs, 657-278-4027; 657-278-2414 or

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