CSUF’s First Endowment Goes to Engineering School

Times Staff Writer

With toasts of champagne, Cal State Fullerton President Jewel Plummer Cobb on Wednesday announced the first endowment for the 29-year-old campus.

Cobb said Rockwell International Corp. has given a $300,000 grant to the state university’s School of Engineering and Computer Science. About $20,000 in annual interest earned from investing the grant will be used to pay a higher professor’s salary and help attract a nationally prominent systems engineer to the school, said Dean John C. Bilello.

Cal State Fullerton’s endowment is only the second for a school of engineering in the entire 19-campus California State University system, the first being an endowed professorship at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

At an announcement reception on campus, Cobb and Rockwell officials toasted the endowment. “This is indeed a milestone for our university,” Cobb said.


During the reception, Rockwell officials also announced that the firm is giving the university $16,000 this academic year for scholarships and assistance for minorities. Bilello said the money will fund four $2,500 engineering scholarships and provide tutoring assistance for other minority students, Bilello said.

“This scholarship money was very much a surprise to me,” Bilello said.

Representing Rockwell at the event was John A. McLuckey, president of Rockwell’s Anaheim-based Autonetics Electronics Systems. McLuckey, an Anaheim resident and Cal State Fullerton business school graduate, said Rockwell hires a large number of Cal State Fullerton engineering graduates each year.

“Rockwell International . . . has had a very good and supportive relationship with the university over the years,” McLuckey said. “We’re certain that this investment we’re making today, through the trust fund of $300,000 we’re providing the university, will go a long way toward enhancing skills of students turned out by the university.”


Engineering Complex

McLuckey appealed to other firms to “chip in and support the university.”

During Wednesday’s reception, Bilello noted that Cal State Fullerton is building a five-story, $9.2-million addition to the engineering complex. “It will be almost a total laboratory building, with only two classrooms, and the intent is to greatly increase the laboratory research experience of our (engineering) students,” he said. “This gift could not have come at a better time.”

The dean said the systems engineer who is hired would teach as well as do extensive research. When asked, “When do you expect to hire him?” Bilello smiled and responded: “Let’s not say ‘he.’ It very easily could be a ‘she.’ I have in mind some very prominent women candidates. And as for when we will hire, it will be in the 1989-90 academic year. By then we’ll have the new space and facilities.”