Size Doesn't Matter

Larger Campus, More Students but the Job Is the Same for New Development Director

September 17, 2007

By Russ Hudson

When Rachel Beal arrived on campus in April as the new Engineering and Computer Science director of development, she experienced a bit of culture shock.

“I came here from Whittier College, a small liberal arts institution with a student body of about 1,300 compared to Fullerton with a student body of 36,000. At Whittier, I could walk across the entire campus in about five minutes. Here at Fullerton, that’s only about here to McCarthy Hall.”

But what she did at Whittier College — established in the late 19th century and boasting a former president, Richard Nixon, as an alumnus — was no small matter. Among her responsibilities was providing leadership for the annual giving program, formulating and executing goals and strategies, acquiring new donors, directing the college’s premier support group, managing a staff and administering budgets.

At Cal State Fullerton, she heads up all fundraising efforts at ECS, so she’s made sure she hit the ground running.

“I haven’t been here long but I have gotten to know the staff, faculty and everyone in ECS. My first priority has been the ‘due diligence’ of learning what has been done in the past and how to enhance for the future,” Beal said from her fifth floor office in the Computer Science Building.

Beal, Dean Raman Unnikrishnan and others are setting and refining goals and strategies on how to engage, renew and upgrade ECS donors. In addition, she is doing her part for the 50th anniversary celebration.

“There is also the Dean’s Advisory Council. I’ve been meeting with each of them. Through them, I’m learning even more about CSUF and what’s been done in the past, what works and what could be enhanced.”
Beal said she considers herself quite lucky to be working with Unnikrishnan and Associate Dean Dorota Huizinga. “They are vested and supportive of our fundraising efforts. They are very forthcoming with folks who they have met and could be potential donors for the departments in the college. There is a lot of energy here and I am fortunate to be able to tap into it.”

It took a little while, but Beal has gotten to know her way around the campus, in more ways than one. But, she said, “for a few weeks, I needed to carry a campus map with me whenever I left this building.”

Rachel Beal
Rachel Beal
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