Connect with us


‘Boldly Rising,’ an Ambitious new Fundraising Campaign | Humboldt NOW




Cal Poly Humboldt has publicly launched the largest fundraising effort in its history, aiming to raise at least $50 million to support students and campus programs. It’s called Boldly Rising: The Campaign for Cal Poly Humboldt.

The effort is led by volunteers from the Cal Poly Humboldt Foundation Campaign Cabinet and Board of Trustees.

Already, since the start of the quiet phase of the campaign in 2020, donors have committed more than $33 million toward a goal of at least $50 million. Given the positive response, which has led to two consecutive years of record donor support, the hope is to complete the effort within the next two to three years.

University and volunteer leaders unveiled the campaign at a celebratory dinner on Wednesday, October 26. Also at this event, more than $600,000as raised for the first Humboldt Fellowship as well as other campaign goals. Jack McGurk, vice president of the campaign cabinet, also announced it will match, dollar for dollar, up to $250,000 to create a scholarship for students majoring in marine biology, a new program to be launched this fall.

“It’s about stepping up and supporting young people,” says Dan Phillips, Humboldt alumnus and chair of the Boldly Rising campaign. “There is so much energy and passion behind it all, and anyone I talk to can see the possibilities and the impact we can have. At the end of the day, we’re going to have something pretty special here.

“I know from my own experience how a huge difference higher education makes and I’m proud to be able to help today’s students,” said Jenny Harris, Board Chair of the Cal Poly Humboldt Foundation. . “Every donor, with every donation, makes a difference by helping to educate the changemakers of tomorrow.”

The new campaign is being showcased on campus today, Thursday, October 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in a special quad event. This is one of many events recognizing donors and the impact of private support during Donor Appreciation Week, October 24-28.

Boldly Rising is Humboldt’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, and it builds on the momentum of the recent Polytechnic designation. This will allow Cal Poly Humboldt to provide greater access and create new opportunities for students. The campaign prioritizes scholarships and other financial support for students, hands-on learning and applied research, new and emerging technologies throughout the program, improving academic programs and building communities fairer. Goals align donor interests with a number of campus priorities.

The theme “Boldly Rising” was chosen by the volunteer leaders of the campaign cabinet. It alludes to the tallest trees in the world, which inspire the Humboldt community every day.

“I am so grateful to our alumni and other donors who are paving the way for this campaign,” said Cal Poly Humboldt President Tom Jackson. “Cal Poly Humboldt is rising to help meet the unprecedented challenges of our time. Our students deserve the best, and the world certainly needs more Humboldt graduates.

The Boldly Rising campaign has five important goals:

  • Support hands-on learning: At least $15 million to build Humboldt’s strength in this area by providing even more opportunities for experiential learning through internships, fieldwork, research-based projects, creative activities, etc.

  • Improving the Academic Experience: At least $5 million to introduce innovative new academic programs, improve existing programs, integrate elements of equity and sustainability throughout the curriculum, and ensure graduates are prepared for career and ready to make a positive impact.

  • Act for Equity: at least $5 million to focus energy and resources on inclusive student success and to create a model global community, with equitable opportunities for all, both on campus and around the world .

A number of students spoke at the celebratory dinner where the Boldly Rising campaign was announced. Among them was psychology major Marina Toroni, a transfer student from the College of the Redwoods. Toroni has received a scholarship from the Smullin Foundation for the past three years – financial support she says was essential to her success at Cal Poly Humboldt.

I don’t think I would be as far as I am in my academic journey without the scholarship,” says Toroni. “It not only helped me succeed, but also gave me the opportunity to pursue my dreams of become a licensed psychologist.

The Boldly Rising campaign comes at a historic time for Cal Poly Humboldt. Backed by a historic state investment, Humboldt became the third polytechnic institution in the state this year and adds new academic programs as well as new facilities. The Boldly Rising campaign aims to leverage this state investment, increasing campus efforts, providing greater opportunities for excellence, and opening the door for students to achieve their dreams.

“Giving to Cal Poly Humboldt means supporting a university that develops the whole student, that helps students find their passions and become their best selves,” says Robin Smith, alumnus of Humboldt and incoming chair of the board of the Cal Poly Humboldt Foundation. “The wisdom and lessons learned during my time at Humboldt still stay with me today. I learned a lot and I appreciate it very much.

The Boldly Rising Campaign Cabinet
Dan Phillips, ’91 – President
Philip Anton, ’98 – Vice President
Carin Kaltschmidt, ’90 – Vice President
Jack McGurk, ’66 – Vice President
Robin Smith, ’78 – Vice President
Robin Bailie, ’11
John Ballard, ’80
Ed Bowler, 1979
Sherie Cornish Gordon
Ceva Courtemanche, ’07
Jacob Furgatch, ’82
Jenny Harris
Dr Tom Jackson, Jr.
Cooper Jones
Amine Khechfe, Parent
Robert Miller, ’85
Rebecca Pardoe, ’93
Barbara Perry-Lorek, mother
Sharon Red
Dan Sealy, ’75
Robin Venuti, ’79
Frank Whitlatch

The Board of the Cal Poly Humboldt Foundation
Jenny Harris – Board Chair
Robin Smith, ’78 – Vice President and incoming President
Gary Blatnick, ’83 – Treasurer
Frank Whitlatch – Executive Director and Secretary
Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr. – President of Cal Poly Humboldt
Eden Donahue, ’09 – Faculty Representative
Philip Anton, ’98
Robin Bailie, ’11
Jason Carlson
Kurt Fraese, ’82
Kenneth Fulgham, ’70
Scott Hunt
Dan Johnson
Carin Kaltschmidt, ’90
Jennifer Keller
Jack McGurk, ’66
Heidi Moore-Guynup, ’98

Join us! You can learn more about support from Cal Poly Humboldt and the Boldly Rising Campaign at Or contact the Cal Poly Humboldt Foundation at or (707) 826-5200.

Photo: Student members of Youth Educational Services, a Cal Poly Humboldt organization that provides students with the opportunity to learn while addressing community issues.