Cal Poly Pomona has received a $12.5 million philanthropic investment from alumni David and Ruth Singelyn to expand the College of Business Administration graduate program, which has been formally named the Singelyn Graduate School of Business. The donation represents the largest outright gift commitment from an alumni couple.
The endowed gift will expand master’s program offerings, establish the first-ever deanships at the university, recognize faculty excellence with endowed professorships and fellowships, and fund scholarships including supporting Ph.D.-track students from underrepresented groups to help further diversify faculty.
The graduate programs have experienced a 900 percent growth in enrollment in the last five years. Currently, more than 600 graduate students are earning master’s degrees in business administration, accounting, business analytics, information security and digital supply chain management. The college has an undergraduate enrollment of more than 5,000 students majoring in seven specialties.
“Cal Poly Pomona offers one of the leading business programs in the country but is not yet recognized in the national conversation of top institutions for graduate education,” says David Singelyn co-founder and chief executive officer of American Homes 4 Rent, a Las Vegas-based real estate investment trust.
Cal Poly Pomona is a nationally recognized leader in higher education innovation and social mobility — twin missions that resonate with the Singelyns. As of fall 2022, 60 percent of students enrolled in the College of Business Administration identify as first-generation and 55 percent as ethnic minorities.
“As the first in my family to graduate from college, I’m thinking of the students who are going to be able to raise themselves beyond their socioeconomic status,” says Ruth Singelyn.
“Nothing is more powerful or motivating than that journey.”
The College of Business Administration program was ranked No. 5 in California and No. 30 in the nation, according to Money Magazine’s 2022 ranking of “Best Colleges for Business Majors.”
Among the unique resources available to business students are the Singelyn Center for Innovative Analytics, a high-tech lab harnessing the power of data visualization made possible by a 2017 gift from the couple; the J. Douglas Ramsey Financial Analysis Lab featuring Bloomberg terminals where students can monitor market prices and news; entrepreneurship opportunities such as the NASA-Cal Poly Pomona Business Startup Program; the Mitch Hill Center for Digital Innovation where students run a real-world data center; and the Center for Customer Insights and Digital Marketing that houses an accompanying biosensor research lab.
The college also hosts the California Center for Cyber Risk, which designates the university as a nationally recognized Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“This gift is a game-changer,” says Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya M. Coley.
“David and Ruth’s generosity will make an immediate impact in expanding opportunities for students, foster innovation in our academic programs and aid the university in attracting world-class teachers and scholars to our faculty.
Visionary philanthropy has always been fundamental to Cal Poly Pomona’s success starting from the time of W.K. Kellogg. It is even more important today.”