As campus and community volunteers prepare for the second annual One Purpose campaign at California State University, Stanislaus, a local farming family has made a $250,000 seed donation.
The $250,000 gift from the Gemperle family will serve as a motivational platform for the volunteers, who have been challenged to raise an additional $1 million during the six-week fund drive this fall, with campaign funds going towards scholarships.
"The Gemperle family has made an incredible statement of confidence in this University and in the One Purpose campaign," said CSU Stanislaus President Joseph F. Sheley. "And it is an investment in students who will shape the future of our region and California."
The seven Gemperle siblings: Heidi Gemperle, Anita Mahaffey, Susan Abdo, Peter Gemperle, Richard Gemperle, Stephen Gemperle and Michael Gemperle came together to make this significant gift. Their father and mother, the late Ernie and Annemarie Gemperle, established a longstanding family involvement with the University. Each of the siblings expressed joy in continuing the tradition started by their parents.
"My parents encouraged all of us to get an education, and so for us to continue our parents' legacy of supporting education is meaningful," said Anita Mahaffey. "I believe that education is a gift that keeps on giving. When you change someone's life with education you not only change his or her circumstance, but you have an impact for generations to come. They will inspire their children and then those children will inspire others."
Growing up locally and contributing to the success of Gemperle Family Farms, each of the siblings has watched the region grow and recognize the impact of CSU Stanislaus and its graduates.
"We've seen the good that One Purpose does in the community and to assist students who are graduating from the University. And many of these student achievements are being made by first-generation students and their families," said Steve Gemperle, president of Gemperle Family Farms and member of the CSU Stanislaus Foundation Board.
Last fall, the One Purpose campaign raised $516,226 that went toward scholarships for local students.
The family also shared their belief that CSU Stanislaus is a gem in the Valley that contributes to the education of our workforce. Education is key to any community's success as it attracts bright students and brings in businesses that create a vibrant economy, they said.
"We believe that giving opportunities to these students helps them to become greater contributors to the community after they graduate. This is an important investment that will benefit local businesses,” said Steve Gemperle.
Vice President for University Advancement Shirley Pok shared that excitement is growing both on and off campus as preparations for the second-year campaign are underway. This year’s One Purpose campaign will run from Aug. 27 through Oct. 8.
"This gift from the Gemperle family will provide us with the opportunity to impact a greater number of students in the future and will strengthen our efforts to support student success," Pok said. "We are so honored by having the Gemperle siblings as a part of our One Purpose story. Their support will endure for years to come."