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$28.5 million gift to California Baptist University from Dale E. Fowler and Sarah Ann Fowler
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$28.5 million gift to California Baptist University from Dale E. Fowler and Sarah Ann Fowler

Real estate developer Dale E. Fowler and his wife, Sarah Ann, are donating $28.5 million to California Baptist University in Riverside. The gift is the largest in university history and in appreciation, the 5,050-seat campus events center will be named in their honor.

“Were just incredibly thankful to the Fowlers for their generosity,” University President Ronald L. Ellis said Monday.

Dale Fowler, a real estate developer and Orange County native, said in a news release that supporting education is a priority.

“It’s an honor to contribute to a university that makes a lasting impact on the lives of its students and in the areas they go on to work, serve and live,” he said. “CBU is a remarkable Christian institution and we are proud to support the important things happening on campus.”

The Fowlers were introduced to the university by their friends, Billie and Eugene Yeager, who were early supporters of the institution, according to the release. Ellis said the connection between the Fowlers and the university has grown over the years.

Two of the Fowlers’ grandchildren have also graduated from the institution.

The university’s 5,050-seat events center will be named for the Fowlers, who split their time between Southern California and Massachusetts.

“When you get a gift of this magnitude, you want to honor those who have (given it),” Ellis said.

“The Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler Events Center will be a reminder of how their generosity will impact CBU for generations to come,” Ellis said in the release.

“Friends like the Fowlers who invest in future generations unlock tremendous opportunities to enhance the student experience and impact student lives,” Paul J. Eldridge, vice president for university advancement, said in the release. “It is exciting to think of the many ways Dale and Ann’s gift will help future students reach their educational goals.”

The donation is not designated for a particular use. The Fowlers’ previous donations to California Baptist University have supported scholarships and the Endurance Fund, which was created to support the university during the coronavirus pandemic, the release states.

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