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It was a Stingers Up! kind of day when a $9 million gift from Ernest E. Tschannen (second from right) to the University was announced Feb. 16, 2018. Tschannen was joined by President Robert S. Nelsen, right, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, left, and physics student Elizabeth Gabler.
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Giving is a Key Driver of Momentum, Innovation on Campus


News and Communications Staff

What’s a good facelift cost? Well, plenty.

Dale and Katy Carlsen

Dale and Katy Carlsen made a $6 million gift on Nov. 13, 2017, launching the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


Knowing that, it’s fortunate for Sac State that two significant financial gifts came to the University, both having significant impact not only on learning but also on the physical environment and the future development of our community.

In the fall, a $6 million gift from Dale and Katy Carlsen spurred creation of the Dale and Katy Carlsen Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Dale Carlsen ’84 (Business Administration) is the founder of Sleep Train Mattress Centers, a leading mattress supplier in the West. (The company has since been sold and renamed Mattress Firm.)

Then in February, the University announced the naming of the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex in response to a record $9 million gift from Tschannen, a businessman known for his philanthropy. Among his previous gifts is a $750,000 donation toward eventual construction of a campus Event Center.

These two gifts provided significant momentum for Sac State fundraising, which supports several projects but is focused in the near term on raising the $20 million Sac State committed toward the $91 million Science Complex project. The CSU provided $71 million for the project.

Among naming opportunities is the planetarium, which is part of the Science Complex. University Development is working to secure a $5 million gift to help finance that project.

Just as the Science Complex and planetarium are altering the physical appearance of the University, the Carlsen Center, a 10,000-square-foot space in the University Library, is advancing its way of thinking.

The Carlsen Center will include entrepreneurship education, services, and programs for students and the community. It is meant to forge alliances among the campus community, and public and private organizations at the forefront of developing innovative leaders. 

“The Carlsen Center, aligned with a ‘maker space’ and a financial lab, is a catalyst for change,” says Amy Kautzman, dean of the University Library. “This triptych of services, supported by faculty from across campus, including Student Affairs, will provide classes, services, and experienced mentors for our students and community.

“This collaborative approach will prepare our students to learn across disciplinary boundaries and redefine what has yet to be imagined.” 


News and Communications Staff


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