San Marcos,
11:22 AM

CSUSM and the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation Partner Up in Support of Vets

News by Margaret Chantung

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) and the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation have partnered together to cohost a special, by-invitation-only event on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 5 PM to highlight the importance of supporting veterans through higher education. Major General Anthony L. Jackson, U.S. Marine Corp (Ret.), director of California State Parks will be the keynote speaker. Jackson is a member of CSUSM’s Foundation Board and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San José State University.

The event will also serve as the official launch of The Patriots Initiative of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation. This new program will raise funds to support the needs of America’s all-volunteer service members, wounded warriors, veterans and their families by providing donors with the most reliable, consolidated directory of effective programs available.

CSUSM’s Commitment to Serving Veterans

CSUSM, located close to Camp Pendleton and several other military installations, has the highest percentage of student veterans per capita of any California State University campus. One of every ten Cal State San Marcos students is a veteran, service member, reservist or military dependent, and the University was ranked in the top 15 percent nationally for veterans’ education in 2010 by Military Times Edge magazine.

To support military-affiliated students and help them navigate academia and achieve their higher education pursuits, CSUSM opened its first Veterans Center in 2008. The Center, which is staffed with a coordinator and student assistants who act as liaisons for students with the Department of Veterans Affairs, provides a one-stop-shop for information about University resources, academic programs, educational benefits and financial aid. Additionally, CSUSM's Veterans Center offers a social lounge where students can connect with one another, study and build campus camaraderie.

In addition, CSUSM collaborates with regional military installations and non-profit organizations through its Division of Community Engagement, to analyze and anticipate workforce gaps, identify ways to expand educational programs and together advance and serve those who have so bravely served the country.

A Partnership for Veteran Success with the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation

In 2008, the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation formed the Armed Forces Interest Group (AFIG) to focus on the needs of military service members and their families. While the Foundation has provided in excess of $47 million in support to a wide range of charitable organizations since its inception in 1981, AFIG focused its efforts on evaluating and providing support to 23 nonprofit organizations located in the San Diego/Southern California region. These agencies provide significant, effective services and programs specifically tailored for active duty military families, wounded warriors and veterans. Now, in an effort to sharpen its focus, the Foundation is re-launching AFIG as The Patriots Initiative (TPI).

TPI’s objective is to identify and provide financial support to the most effective programs meeting the needs of military families and veterans, connecting with two constituencies to meet the identified needs of the military: the service providers who work directly with military families and donors and funders in the region.

“As veterans transition from the military to civilian life, it is critical that those who attend CSUSM find a meaningful place in the campus community. The new Veterans Center will welcome and support these students and we are proud to support this vital program”, said Christy Wilson, Executive Director of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation. 

Recently, The Patriots Initiative awarded a $15,000 grant to support Cal State San Marcos student veteran scholarships and CSUSM’s new 1,000 square foot Veterans Center, expected to open in mid-fall 2014. This brings the total support to student veterans at CSUSM from the Foundation to $25,000 since 2012.  

“We are proud of our partnership with the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation to support our service members, veterans and their family members who have contributed so much to our country's collective security,” said CSUSM Vice President for University Advancement Neal Hoss. “We work hard to meet their unique educational needs and we believe that this commitment to the future success of our nation’s finest is one of our greatest strengths.”


Who:  Major General Anthony L. Jackson, U.S. Marine Corp (Ret.), director of California State Parks; CSUSM President Karen Haynes; Greg Hillgren, chairman, The Patriots Initiative; and invited University and Foundation guests

What:  The Importance of Supporting Veterans through Education Event, introducing The Patriots Initiative of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation.

When: Thursday, Sept. 12 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: California State University San Marcos,The McMahan House, 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., San Marcos, CA 92096

About the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation: Founded in 1981, the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation is a community foundation, an independent public charity that stewards philanthropic resources from individual and institutional donors. The mission of the RSF Foundation is threefold:  to enable donors to create charitable funds, based on their philanthropic interests, which address a wide range of issues throughout San Diego County and around the world; to make community impact grants that support local and regional nonprofit organizations; and to provide vision and leadership that strengthens the local and regional philanthropic community. To learn more, visit