May 19, 2004 :: No. 251
Alumnus Pledges $3 Million to College
of Business and Economics
A Cal State Fullerton business administration
graduate, who went from being the sole employee in a one-man shop
to leader of a global organization, has made a $3 million pledge
to the College of Business and Economics — the largest pledge
of cash in the university’s history.
In recognition of his generosity, the university plans
to name the college’s future building Steven G. Mihaylo Hall,
in honor of the chairman, president and chief executive officer
of Inter-Tel, a publicly traded provider of communications hardware,
software and services.
The California State University Board of Trustees today approved
the building name.
“Mr. Mihaylo joins us in the belief that Cal
State Fullerton continues to have a bright future in educating the
business leaders of tomorrow,” said CSUF President Milton
A. Gordon. “When you invite participation in a project like
this, you always look for the ideal partnership, and in this case,
Cal State Fullerton found one of its own — a true Titan.
“His gift helps us launch the College of Business
and Economics into the forefront of business institutions nationwide.”
“On behalf of the board of trustees, I would
like to thank you for your tremendous generosity to make this facility
possible for Cal State Fullerton,” said CSU Chancellor Charles
B. Reed. “You have done something that will be there forever
for all of our students.”
“I think the partnership of myself, all the
academicians and the Cal State Fullerton alumni throughout the state
have a real opportunity to build something special here, and I’m
not just talking about the building itself,” Mihaylo said
to the trustees. “I’m talking about the opportunity
to gain national prominence for the business school. That’s
my real goal.”
“Steve’s whole life is a poignant message
for our students, and his achievements have a special meaning,”
said Anil Puri, dean of the College of Business and Economics. “His
gift is the first important step in making our college the premier
business school in Southern California. It is a vote of confidence
in our college and our vision.”
Mihaylo, who spent three years in the U.S. Army, attended
Cal State Fullerton on the GI Bill. He supported himself by working
the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift at McDonnell Douglas, followed by a
position in a telecommunications firm that later became a partner
in his company. He remembers his years at Fullerton as “fast.
My time at Fullerton whizzed by in a big hurry.”
Not forgotten are his accounting professors’
‘war’ stories. “They could relate their real-world
experiences in realistic situations as they taught us, and that
was excellent for students as we learned theory,” said Mihaylo.
“We could incorporate both theory and practice in the classroom
setting. I found it an excellent learning situation.”
After graduating in 1969, Mihaylo founded Inter-Tel.
The Phoenix-based company offers communications products, applications
utilizing networks and server-based communications software, as
well as managed services that include voice and data network design
and traffic provisioning, custom application development and financial
solutions packages. Inter-Tel employs more than 1,800 and services
more than 500,000 business customers through a network of 50 company-owned,
direct sales offices and more than 350 authorized providers in the
United States, United Kingdom and Japan.
“Over the years, I have been grateful for the
education that I received at California State University, Fullerton
and for the opportunities that I was afforded,” Mihaylo said.
“It is my honor and privilege to support the College of Business
and Economics and to be a part of an environment where all students
have the opportunity to succeed.”
Addressing the trustees and others assembled in the
CSU’s Dumke Auditorium, Alex Lopez, CSU student trustee and
a senior business administration major at Cal State Fullerton, thanked
Mihaylo “for being a role model for Cal State Fullerton students.
California State University provides opportunities for students
of this state. It is alumni like you who set an example for all
Cal State students.”
Mihaylo reconnected with the university last year
after he was contacted by Puri and invited to a dean’s advisory
“This gift is a real testimony to fundamental
advancement work,” said Pam Hillman, vice president for university
advancement. “This is a transformational gift for Cal State
Fullerton. It provides terrific momentum toward our match of $5
million for Prop. 55.”
In March, voters approved Proposition 55: the Kindergarten-University
Education Facilities Bond Act of 2004, which includes $47.4 million
in bond funding for the planned structure. The university’s
goal is to raise an additional $5 million in private gifts for the
project, which is expected to break ground in 2006.
Including Mihaylo’s commitment, the pledge total
has reached $4.4 million.
The planned 190,000-square-foot building to be built
southeast of Langsdorf Hall will feature state-of-the-art classrooms,
interactive technology, multimedia lecture halls and faculty offices.
Selection of an architect and the design phase launch are slated
for this summer.
||Anil Puri, dean of the College
of Business and Economics, at 657-278-2592 or email@example.com
Pamela McLaren of Public Affairs at 657-278-4852
Jeanne Leckie, Inter-Tel Corporate Public Relations,
at (480) 961-2262