Epstein Family Foundation Pledges $1 Million for Veterans Center
Press Release | By Eric Breier
San Marcos, CA – The Epstein Family Foundation has pledged $1 million in support of Cal State San Marcos’ Veterans Center, the most significant gift in support of the University’s student veterans since the donation of the center building in 2014.
“This gift from the Epstein family is truly the difference between accomplishing dreams and merely imagining them,” CSUSM President Karen Haynes said. “Their philanthropy is helping to move our university and our region forward.”
The Epsteins’ gift will provide funds to physically expand the existing Veterans Center and provide an endowment to fund critical programs to support veterans and their families.
“The generous grant from the Epstein family will allow us to double the size of our Veterans Center, making it a one-stop shop for benefits processing, advising and professional development,” said Patricia Reily, director of the Veterans Center. “It also will provide a home away from home for our military-connected students — an oasis on campus where they can socialize as well as study in a comfortable, safe environment. To say that we are over the moon as a result of this gift is an understatement.”
The Veterans Center is a place where military-affiliated students can receive support in achieving their academic and career goals with services tailored to their unique needs. Staff assist students in navigating the admissions process, accessing GI benefits, registering for courses, finding campus resources and getting involved in leadership and social activities.
“Cal State San Marcos has a great tradition of helping student veterans and their families,” Daniel J. Epstein said. “I’m pleased that this gift will enhance the Veterans Center’s ability to support the men and women who have served our country.”
Nearly $500,000 of the gift from the Epsteins will go toward support of programming, support services and scholarships.
The Veterans Center building opened in 2014, replacing a smaller facility that opened in 2008 in CSUSM’s Craven Hall. Staff is spread across campus due to limited space in the Veterans Center, which is less than 1,000 square feet.
“Simply put, we are bursting at the seams,” Reily said. “The number of student veterans served at California State University San Marcos has increased by 400 percent since 2006. We pride ourselves on being ‘high touch’ — that is to say, we get to know our student veterans as individuals so that we can facilitate their success. But it is a challenge to be ‘high touch’ with our current space constraints.”
The gift from the Epsteins will alleviate those constraints while positioning CSUSM’s Veterans Center as a national model for advancing higher education, programming and services to military-affiliated students and their dependents.
While a groundbreaking date for the expansion has not been set, the project is due to be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2018.
About California State University San Marcos
Building on an innovative 27-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the City of San Marcos, it is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego, Southwest Riverside and South Orange Counties.
The University enrolls nearly 17,000 students. With approximately 2,000 employees, the institution is a Great College to Work For® (The Chronicle of Higher Education). As a recipient of the annual HEED Award since 2014—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—CSUSM is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment.