About the Campaign

Logo - Bold. Thinking. The Campaign for San Francisco State

Securing San Francisco State University's place
as a world-class university in a world-class city.

San Francisco State University is defined by bold thinking. Like our hometown, we are on the forefront of innovation, creating changes that reverberate from our campus into the world. From cutting-edge LGBTQ cinema to the discovery of new planets, our talented faculty help students to learn about who they are and to transcend their own expectations of success.

Simply enrolling in a university is bold for many of our students, who may be the first in their family to attend college, a full-time student with a full-time job, or even a former prison inmate. Our BOLD Thinking campaign raised $156.7 million to provide these students with the support and inspiration that they need to join the ranks of our distinguished alumni and lead fulfilling lives.

Through the generosity and compassion of more than 20,000 donors, our campaign was a tremendous success, supporting students and faculty, energizing unique academic programs and transforming our campus. As we renew our commitment to addressing our students’ basic needs, providing up-to-date facilities and buildings on our campus, and maintaining our position as a top university for upward mobility, our philanthropic partnerships will continue to be of primary importance.


BOLD Thinking


BOLD Thinking was the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in San Francisco State University’s history. Active from 2013 to 2019, the campaign surpassed its goal, raising $156.7 million. Our generous donors propelled the BOLD Thinking campaign forward, maturing the culture of philanthropic giving at San Francisco State for the future.



George and Judy Marcus Donate Lead Gift to BOLD Thinking Campaign

In November, 2018 George Marcus (B.A., ’65) and Judie Otten Marcus (B.A., ’62) became the University's largest donors and lead supporters of the BOLD Thinking campaign. The Marcuses funded and established the George and Judy Marcus Funds for Excellence in the Liberal Arts, a comprehensive gift to the College of Liberal and Creative Arts that includes four new endowed faculty chairs, support for student and faculty research, and program and facilities upgrades.


Alumnus Chris Larsen (B.S., '84), wife Lyna Lam and Rippleworks have partnered together to generously donate $25 million to SF State's College of Business.

The Chris Larsen and Lyna Lam Funds for the College of Business will inspire innovation, entrepreneurship, and financial technology education. Read about Chris' voyage from being first in his family to attend college to one of the world's most iconoclastic business leaders.


BOLD THINKERS: Donor Stories

Genentech Foundation: Building a Local STEM Workforce

Genentech Foundation: Building a Local STEM Workforce

The Genentech Foundation’s recent $10.5 million grant to SF State’s College of Science & Engineering will be distributed over five years, and will fund three initiatives managed by the college’s Student Enrichment Opportunities Office. Approximately 80% of the grant will go towards support of students from low-income backgrounds, with awards made annually to 92 undergraduates and 20 graduate students. READ MORE

Neda Nobari: Philanthropist & Educational Innovator

Ms. Nobari (B.S., '84) is one of SF State's most supportive philanthropists, a SF State Foundation Board Member, and the Founder and primary funder of SF State's Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies. The Center is the only one of its kind, and creates a vigorous and fresh approach to the study of and research of Iranian diaspora communities.


Neda Nobari scholarship and award winner
Juanita Lott scholarship and award winner

Juanita Tamayo Lott: Civil Rights Leader and College of Ethnic Studies Supporter

Ms. Lott (Sociology, '70) was one of the original ’68 SF State strikers whose bold thinking led to the establishment of SF State’s College of Ethnic Studies. Ms. Lott is known as an innovator in Asian American Studies, and as a leader in Asian American rights and equity. In 2018 she generously donated $20,000 to the College of Ethnic Studies and $15,000 to endow the James Akira Hirabayashi Scholarship. READ MORE

Kathy Kwan: A Partner for Success

As a lifelong resident of the Bay Area, Kathy Kwan is uniquely poised to understand the impact a degree from SF State can have on students and the community. When her parents Benson Kwan (B.S., ’64) and Helen Chang Kwan (A.B., ’61) graduated from SF State in the early 1960s, they were the first generation in their families to earn college degrees. In her role today as philanthropist and major donor to SF State’s Career Services & Leadership Development (CSLD) program, Kathy often meets students whose backgrounds are similar to that of her parents. READ MORE


Kathy Kwan


Learn more about BOLD Thinking

BOLD Thinking


Learn about the focus areas of our campaign to raise $150 million to secure San Francisco State University's place as a world-class univerisity. 

BOLD Thinking


From scholarships to state of the art buildings, our campaign is deeply impacting San Francisco State University.

BOLD Thinking


Contributing to San Francisco State University changes lives and enriches the community through supporting SF States' diverse and resourceful graduates.

BOLD Thinking


Learn about our Leadership and Campaign Cabinet.