Loker Donor Wall: Addition to Student Union Honors CSUDH Friends and Supporters
On Sept. 18, the campus community at California State University, Dominguez Hills gathered to unveil the Loker Student Union (LSU) Donor Wall. Many who contributed to both the original campaign begun in 1968 to build a student union and to the $34.3 million expansion that was completed in 2007 were present.
Patrick Stewart, director of special gifts, University Advancement, said that the etched glass wall at the north entrance of the union is “a visible sign of the support that the building as a whole received from the community, the campus. And it shows students and future generations what can be accomplished when a group of people come together with a like mind and a common vision.”
Vice President for Student Affairs Boice Bowman opened the unveiling ceremony with a welcome to guests. Aja Montgomery, chair of the LSU Board of Directors, represented the student body. Mary Perry, vice president of marketing for the western region of Follett Higher Education Group, and Ken Putnam, chair of the CSUDH Foundation Board of Directors, also made welcoming and congratulatory remarks.
“I am elated to see our past and present donors come together to take part in this special tribute,” said Montgomery, a business administration major. “Without their support, this project would not have been possible.”
Kim Clark, LSU executive director, emphasizes the contributions of past Dominguez Hills students who helped create a legacy for future generations of students.
“Over 30 years ago, students on this campus voted to tax themselves to build a student union, knowing it would take years to realize this dream,” she said. “In 1986, the students once again voted to double their self-imposed taxation from $20 per year to $40 per year.”
Clark also highlighted the contributions of the late Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker, the local philanthropists who became the building’s benefactors and namesakes. In 1986, Donald Loker, who made the first private donation to the 1968 student union campaign, increased his initial contribution to $500,000, one-third of the total needed to complete the project.
“This generosity was very typical of the Lokers and it was not just their money they were generous with,” Clark said. “It was their time, their talents and their friendships.”
The couple, who were alumni of Harvard (Donald) and the University of Southern California (Katherine), supported the Carson campus throughout its history. Donald Loker served on an advisory board that was appointed in 1964 by trustees of the California State University to find a permanent site for the young California State College, Dominguez Hills. Katherine Loker served as a member of founding President Leo F. Cain’s College advisory board from 1967 to 1976. After Donald’s death in 1988, Katherine Loker continued her support, both financially and as an honorary member of the CSUDH Foundation Board until her death this year. In 2002, she became the university’s top donor to date, contributing $4 million toward the LSU’s expansion.
CSUDH president, Dr. Mildred García, thanked the many supporters of the Loker Student Union, including founding donors Thomas Innocenzi of the Shell Oil Company; Catherine Shaffer, former financial aid counselor, CSUDH; Gil Smith, former mayor of Carson; and Tom Huston, Watson Land Company.
“The impact of the Loker Student Union is amazing,” García said. “Speak to our students, who will tell you, it’s the place where it’s happening, where they get together and they talk and share... because this becomes their second home.
“Because of all of you, it’s become our community center, our hub,” she said. “This structure now stands as another one of our points of pride...for a university that’s continuing to build on its history and go to [great] heights.”
For more information on the Loker Student Union, click here.
- Joanie Harmon
Photo above L-R: Mary Perry, regional vice president of marketing, Follett Higher Education Group, Ken Putnam, chair, CSUDH Foundation Board of Directors, Boice Bowman, vice president for the Office of Student Life, and President Mildred García unveil the Loker Donor Wall, the last piece of construction for the expanded Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Student Union.
Photo by GK