Cal State LA launches first comprehensive fundraising campaign

April 17, 2018

We Are LA: The Campaign for Cal State LA will support student success, academic distinction

By Jillian Beck | Cal State LA News Service

California State University, Los Angeles on Monday launched the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in its history during an inspiring and festive celebration attended by hundreds of people.

The kickoff event at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA featured a rousing video presentation, vibrant dance and musical performances and uplifting remarks from university and alumni leaders.

Addressing nearly 1,000 guests, including alumni, students, faculty, staff and other supporters, President William A. Covino outlined We Are LA: The Campaign for Cal State LA.

“Never before in the 71-year existence of the university have we launched a fundraising campaign of this magnitude,” President Covino said. “All of you hold the key to the success of our first comprehensive capital campaign.”

A festive burst of black and gold streamers filled the Luckman Theatre as Covino announced the goal of the campaign to raise $75 million to support university initiatives, academic and athletic programs and student success in time for the university’s 75th anniversary.

Distinguished alumni Capri Maddox and Richard D. Cordova, who are serving as campaign co-chairs, welcomed attendees and spoke of the transformative effect of an education at Cal State LA.

“My years at Cal State LA were shaped by outstanding faculty and hands-on experience that helped me become the person I am today,” said Maddox, who serves as special assistant city attorney and senior advisor to Los Angeles City Attorney Michael N. Feuer. “I wouldn’t be where I am without the opportunities I was given here.”

Cordova echoed Maddox’s sentiments and highlighted the many initiatives of the university that benefit the communities it serves, including Achieve LA, a partnership with the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles to create pathways to higher education for youth in underserved areas. 

“One of the aspects of the university I really appreciate is President Covino’s commitment to engagement, service, and the public good—which is one of the university’s priorities,” said Cordova, president emeritus of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Dancers from Ballet Hispánico perform a duet onstage. The Luckman Jazz Combo, led by Grammy Award-winning faculty member James Ford on trumpet, entertained the crowd with melodic pieces. Dancers with Ballet Hispánico, the nation’s premier Latino dance organization, performed a graceful and dynamic duet.

Cal State LA is collaborating with Ballet Hispánico on the Community Arts Partnership LA, which features community workshops and classes, annual performances by the internationally acclaimed dance company, arts integration classes for public schools and interdisciplinary courses at the university.


Photos of campaign kickoff event

We Are LA: The Campaign for Cal State LA video

“We are thrilled to be launching our comprehensive campaign,” said Cal State LA Vice President for University Advancement Janet S. Dial. “The support of our community will continue to foster our university’s excellence for years to come.”

After the program, guests spilled out onto the Luckman Street of the Arts, mingling and enjoying the rhythmic sounds of the Cal State LA Afro Latin Ensemble, directed by faculty member Paul De Castro. In support of the campaign, supporters purchased commemorative bricks, which will be on display at a prominent location on campus.

“The university embarks on this important campaign in partnership and for the benefit of greater Los Angeles and the communities we serve,” said Cal State LA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jose A. Gomez.

Learn how to be a part of the Campaign for Cal State LA.

Hundreds mingle on the Street of the Arts outside the Luckman Fine Arts Complex.

Photos: Above, Cal State LA President William A. Covino outlines We Are LA: The Campaign for Cal State LA in front of hundreds of guests in the Luckman Theatre. Middle: Dancers with Ballet Hispánico, the nation's premier Latino dance organization, perform a vibrant duet. Bottom, Guests spilled out of the Luckman Theatre and onto the Luckman Street of the Arts, mingling and enjoying the rhythmic sounds of the Cal State LA Afro Latin Ensemble. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores and Ty Washington/Cal State LA) 

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 28,000 students and has more than 245,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit