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Looking to the future with new projects and programs

President's Letter, CLU Magazine Fall/Winter 2023

Photo credit: Jessi Soporito

Greetings from Thousand Oaks, where colleagues and I have spent the majority of the summer hosting a series of leadership briefings to prioritize the proposed projects and programs that emerged from last year’s integrated strategic and campus planning processes.

Over the last couple of months, I invited more than 100 of our most loyal friends and donors to discuss several significant proposals that will bolster the student experience at California Lutheran University. Senior leaders and I are now analyzing the feedback we have received and prioritizing the endeavors we believe would generate the most philanthropic and community interest.

I am using this column to share some possibilities we are exploring so that our alumni and friends are up-to-speed on the possibilities at hand. The projects we pursue will depend on the community’s expressed levels of philanthropic support.

Academic Facilities (Main Campus)

  • A multimillion-dollar renovation of the Ahmanson Science Center is currently underway to include robotics, optics and physics studio labs; a math suite; and study, tutoring and collaboration spaces
  • A new School of Management facility that would allow the university to build on the successes of its many business programs and increase its recruitment of talented business-oriented students
  • New music and theater facilities that would offer faculty and students contemporary teaching, learning, rehearsal and performing spaces

Athletic Facilities (Main Campus)

  • A much-needed practice and competition facility for our track and field teams
  • Aquatic center enhancements that would include spectator seating, concessions, a press area and satellite training rooms
  • A new softball stadium that features permanent dugouts, covered bleacher seating, concessions, a press box and restrooms
  • Tennis courts expansions that would add additional courts and other amenities
  • Outdoor and Grounds Improvements (Main Campus)
  • The transformation of Memorial Drive from a vehicular thoroughfare to a pedestrian boulevard
  • An integrated signage and wayfinding system that welcomes new students, visitors, families and neighbors

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

  • Growing the Seminary Fund to support the operations and initiatives at PLTS
  • Strengthening the Center for Climate Justice and Faith, which equips leaders to work for climate justice in communities around the world
  • Supporting the TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries) Certificate program for nonresidential students to study with local pastors on their way to becoming ordained ministers
  • Contributing to an Alaskan Natives and Indigenous leaders’ program

Student Support

  • Bolstered teaching and learning technologies to keep pace with mid-21st-century needs and expectations
  • Expendable scholarships that use the entire amount of a donation to support students, and endowed scholarships, which are usually smaller awards drawn from the earned interest on an endowment gift
  • Funds to support paid student internships and on-campus employment
  • Revitalization of the Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals program to include online learning options in all majors

Each of the above initiatives would prioritize students; keep California Lutheran University strong, healthy and highly relevant; and build our future. If you are intrigued and want to hear more or assist in our ambitious efforts, please contact Regina Biddings-Muro, EdD, our vice president of University Advancement.

With excitement and optimism,
Lori Varlotta