Sac State Torchlight

Couple aims to support current students, inspire own kids

Tomlinsons
They each earned geography degrees, but David and Christina Tomlinson know that simply looking at a map doesn’t always result in a successful journey. When it comes to plotting the course for the future of their four children, the Tomlinsons emphasize education and it’s more than just talk. “If we’re encouraging our children to advance to higher education then we should show them that we support it as well,” says Christina ’94 (Geography). “We also feel like if they have a connection with a university, they’re more likely to go to college, maybe not at that school, but somewhere. Sac State is our local school and it’s fun to go to campus and show them where we went.”The Tomlinsons support Sac State through the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Dean’s Leadership Circle. The fund allows Dean Jill Trainer to address pressing needs in the College and take advantage of emerging opportunities.One such priority this year is the Commit to Study Program designed to raise awareness about the time that should be dedicated to studying and proper study habits. In order to reinforce the message, the lobbies of Sequoia Hall are being revamped to include tables and power outlets, giving students a place to hit the books or plug in the laptop.“With the Dean’s Leadership Circle, we can target the most important projects at a given time and with the launch of the Commit to Study program, the study areas have shot to the top of that list,” Trainer says.Leadership Circle funds have also been used to support student programs like the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, which allows students to work side-by-side with faculty on research projects over summer break. The students receive a stipend for the program, which runs four to 10 weeks.Sac State holds a special place in the Tomlinsons’ hearts for more than just the academic guidance they received on campus. The couple met in the close-knit geography department and started dating when they were seniors. They married shortly after graduation.Giving to the College is a simple way to show their gratitude and an investment in higher education.“It’s an easy way to give,” says Christina, who volunteered with the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity when she was a student. “It’s something we feel we can afford. It works out to about $1 a day, which isn’t much when we spend money on so many other little things. We wanted to give back a little bit and hopefully our children can benefit from it in the future.”David ’94 (Geography) now works for the State of California in the Legislative Data Center, where his background in computers and geographic information systems are valuable skills. Parents to four children (Derek, 14, Sarah, 11, Travis, 9, and Danielle, 6) the Tomlinsons are often busy shuttling between school, water polo matches, soccer practices and numerous other activities. But they find time to support the Hornets whenever they can. They are Sacramento natives so their attachment to the Green and Gold is a natural fit.“My daughter plays soccer, so we like to go watch the Hornet women’s soccer games,” Christina says. “We usually go to the Homecoming (football) game, too. It’s nice to have a hometown team to cheer for.”