In this month’s newsletter there is a story about some extraordinary million-dollar donors to San Diego State and the increasing importance of private support for the university. Having known all of the individuals mentioned in the article for quite some time, what their recent donations illustrate for me is how persons with red and black loyalty actually comprise a much broader spectrum of commitment that can make a tremendous impact on the quality of education in this region in myriad ways.
Bob Payne has made hundreds of gifts to SDSU over 40 years. Twice they were over a million dollars and once almost a million. He has chaired the Campanile Foundation, advocated for athletics, and provided sage council to our SDSU presidents going back to Malcolm Love. He has had a profound influence in our community as a businessman, chair of the Super Bowl, owner of the Padres and perpetual community advocate and cheerleader. He is well known to our city’s cognoscenti. Despite his honors and achievements, Bob possesses disarming humility and projects genuine warmth which makes him beloved.
Our University is so lucky to claim Bob Payne as one of our alums. He is the kind of titan who, when he donates yet another $2.4 million, it doesn’t even surprise anyone. His recent gift will positively impact not only SDSU’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, but the hospitality and tourism industry in San Diego and beyond as well.
Then there are Robin and Chuck Luby. Like Bob, they have been intimately involved with the university for more than four decades. Their public personas, however, have been more typical of the vast majority of our graduates. Education, science, business, volunteerism, leadership and pure love for the university have occupied their time since graduation. The Lubys are way low-key. They love books and theater and Shakespeare and the Aztecs. They participate in dozens of various university alumni committees and have attended thousands of events. Yes, thousands. Their financial donations over those four decades have garnered far less attention than their giving of time and talent.
The Lubys gave our library $4 million last month by committing presumably their entire estate. This gift will profoundly affect the quality of offerings of our library and thus the quality of an SDSU education forever.
Bob Payne. Chuck Luby. Robin Luby: Truly Aztecs for Life.