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Sacramento State comprehensive campaign launch represents a milestone for University’s fundraising

The entire University community is participating in the On The Rise campaign, which is meant to boost student scholarships and advance the University's teaching and research mission.


Go here for Sac State Magazine's special comprehensive campaign edition, On The Rise: The Campaign for Sacramento State.


Sacramento State unveiled its first-ever comprehensive fundraising effort, On The Rise: The Campaign for Sacramento State, on Tuesday, March 16. The virtual event marks the start of the public phase of the University’s concerted push to raise $225 million to increase student support and advance the University’s teaching and research mission.

The campaign unifies the entire Hornet Family to achieve the fundraising goal by 2023.

“The On the Rise campaign will raise money for students, knowledge, and community,” said Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen. “Together, we will double the number of student scholarships. Together, we will continue to increase endowments to fund faculty development and student-supported research.

On the Rise will help us do all this and more. What we do here at Sacramento State has significance everywhere, and every dollar invested in Sacramento State makes a difference.”

Nearly one-third of Sacramento State students are the first in their family to pursue a college degree. The philanthropic support will include funds for scholarships and awards, as well as programs that are essential for student success both in and out of the classroom.

Lisa Cardoza, vice president of University Advancement, said timing of the campaign rollout is important because of “the challenges of our time and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Donors – whether they’re individuals, foundations, or corporations – have a real opportunity to help ensure students in our region stay on track to obtain a college degree so they can become the leaders and workforce that drive our community forward.”

The "quiet phase" of the campaign started in 2015 and includes these notable gifts:

  • A $9 million gift from Sacramento philanthropist Ernest E. Tschannen to name the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex.
  • A $6 million gift from Dale Carlsen and his wife, Katy, to help found the Dale and Katy Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
  • A donation of 300 acres of land valued at $27.4 million from Placer Ranch, Inc., owned by Eli Broad, to be the site of Sacramento State Placer Center.
  • A $1 million gift from Western Health Advantage to support Sacramento State’s annual Global Entrepreneurship Week.
  • More than $200,000 raised from nearly 1,000 donors during last year’s Give Sac State Day.

The On the Rise campaign seeks to attract broad philanthropic support from alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends of the University. Campaign members include Honorary Chair Lester Holt, anchor, NBC Nightly News; Co-Chair Garry Maisel, founder and CEO, Western Health Advantage; Tina Treis, board chair, University Foundation at Sacramento State.


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Sacramento State’s News and Communications team writes and shares stories about the University, its students, faculty, and alumni, revealing the accomplishments, achievements and milestones that characterize its standing as an educational leader and an important community center. The department’s writers, editors and public relations personnel look across the broad spectrum of the campus and the people who thrive here to support the University’s mission.

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