Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, January 16 , 2019, 7:24 pm | Fog/Mist 59º


Cal Poly Receives Largest-Ever Financial Donation: $110 Million

Bill and Linda Frost made the contribution to the San Luis Obispo university's College of Science and Mathematics

Bill Frost announces a $110 million donation he and his wife, Linda, are making to the College of Science and Mathematics at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. It’s the largest financial gift in the university’s history. Click to view larger
Bill Frost announces a $110 million donation he and his wife, Linda, are making to the College of Science and Mathematics at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. It’s the largest financial gift in the university’s history. (David Middlecamp / San Luis Obispo Tribune photo)

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo officials on Wednesday announced the largest financial donation ever given to the university and the California State University system: $110 million to the College of Science and Mathematics for undergraduate research.

The money, which is among the largest gifts ever to public education in California, comes from Bill and Linda Frost, who have a history of making large donations to Cal Poly.

“Bill and Linda’s gift will impact the lives of countless Cal Poly students, right now and far into the future,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong in a news release. “The Frosts envision Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics housing one of the top undergraduate academic and research programs in the country.

"Their willingness to think big is an inspiration to all of us and a model for how Cal Poly will continue to provide the creative thinkers and problem-solvers for today’s complex global workforce.”

The gift aims to form a new vision for undergraduate science and math research at Cal Poly, creating a program that makes students top prospects as they move onto graduate school and professional careers, according to a university news release.

In designing the program, Bill Frost worked closely with Science and Math Dean Phil Bailey, who is a longtime friend.

A highlight of the donation will be a new 18,000-square-foot interdisciplinary research center, as well as $3.6 million annually for scholarships, research stipends, new equipment, and additional faculty.

Bill Frost graduated from the university with a degree in biochemistry before going on to found the chemical manufacturing company Chemlogics, which he later sold for $1.3 billion.

Linda Frost is a graduate of San Jose State University. Last spring, the Frosts pledged $20 million for the university’s planned Science and Agriculture Teaching and Research Complex.

“I see this as an investment in the education and future successes of our science and mathematics students,” Bill Frost said. “I want this funding to be used to further enhance the ‘Learn by Doing’ experiences that define Cal Poly and to provide students with research opportunities that will result in their presenting at regional, national and even international professional conferences and co-authoring publications with their faculty mentors in peer-reviewed journals.”

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, who was on hand for the announcement, said the impact of the gift will reach beyond Cal Poly.

“Bill and Linda’s inspirational gift sets an example for other current and potential donors,” White said. “It highlights the crucial role private support plays in helping to maintain and enhance California’s public higher education system.”

Until Wednesday, the largest gift in CSU history, also made to Cal Poly, was a $60 million donation in the form of a bequest from an anonymous donor, which included real estate, stock and other assets to be released upon the donor’s death.

Andrew Sheeler is a reporter with the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Contact im at [email protected]

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.