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Vol 56 No. 17 | Dec. 2004
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Arlene and Mike Walter

Gift From Walters To Support CSULB Athletics, Academics

Mike Walter has a simple explanation of why he and his wife are benefactors to Cal State Long Beach. “When Webster comprised the dictionary he didn't know how much one can love a university, so he didn't leave us any words capable of expressing it. But even if he had tried, I doubt that even he could have adequately expressed our love for California State University, Long Beach.”

Members of CSULB and the greater Long Beach community gathered Monday evening to honor Mike and Arline Walter for their generosity to the university. Walter, dean of the College of Business Administration from 1993 to 2000, and his wife have donated $2.1 million to support Athletics and the Edge of Excellence Endowment for Teaching and Learning.

In January, CSULB will seek approval from the California State University Board of Trustees to recognize the Walters' generosity with official naming of the Mike and Arline Walter Pyramid.

Major donors to Cal State Long Beach since he first arrived as dean, the Walters' latest contribution to the university reflects their dedication to its academic mission and enthusiasm for student-athletes and the athletics program.  

The Walters' donation includes $1.2 million that will serve as the lead gift of a total $2.3 million combined donation to Athletics made by the Walters and others including Glen and Debbie Bickerstaff, Mick and Louise Ukleja, Mark and Janice Dickson, Dick and Joan Vind, Rocky and Julie Suares, and Perry Moore. The donations also led to the launch of the Legacy Initiative for Athletics, a five-year fund-raising campaign to support the program.

During Monday's festivities, the Walters shared stories that shed light on their tradition of philanthropy, enjoyment of sports and respect for Cal State Long Beach. Mike Walter reflected on his grandfather's example of helping others, having provided land for his town's city hall and fire station. Arline Walter remembered sitting with her mother listening to basketball games broadcast over the radio—an early beginning to her lifelong love of the game.

CSULB facilities that support Long Beach student-athletes, including the Center for Student Athlete Academic Services, the 49er Athletics Strength and Conditioning Complex, and the Pyramid, which serves academic, special events and sports, will be enhanced or expanded.

Also, $1 million of the Walters' commitment has been designated as a deferred gift to the Edge of Excellence Endowment that focuses on enhancements to the teaching and research experience for Long Beach faculty. Both expressed their support for academic pursuit in general and for CSULB in particular.

“Shared governance has always been a core value of mine, and Cal State Long Beach is an example—par excellence—where shared governance really works,” Walter said. “Another core value of mine is building, preserving and respecting diversity—again, CSULB is an example par excellence.”

Arline Walter pointed to their educations as the source of their personal successes. “If we hadn't had the opportunity to be educated, we would not have achieved what we did achieve, and we would never have had $2 million to help others achieve their own goals,” she said.

Assistant to the president for community relations and dean emeritus of the College of Business Administration, Walter continues to teach in the Department of Information Services and to serve as a member of the Academic Senate. Prior to coming to Long Beach, he was the dean of the College of Economics and Business Administration at Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga, where he also held an endowed professorship. He also was a senior vice president with Levi Strauss & Co. He holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Iowa.

Arline Walter taught mathematics at Simpson College before transitioning to a successful business career. For the past 20 years she worked as a vice president in information technology in the financial services industry, first for Wells Fargo and most recently for Union Bank of California, from which she retired in March. She holds B.A. and M. S. degrees in mathematics from the University of Iowa and an Executive MBA from Saint Mary's College of California.




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