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Local ag family donates $250K for university endowment
gemperle family
Pictured together on the CSU Stanislaus Turlock campus from left to right are Michael Gemperle, Stephen Gemperle, Susan Abdo, Anita Mahaffey, Richard Gemperle, Heidi Gemperle and Peter Gemperle. - photo by Photo Contributed

California State University, Stanislaus is already off to a prosperous start for the second year of the One Purpose fundraising campaign, thanks to the Gemperle family.

 The Gemperle family made a $250,000 contribution to the One Purpose endowment, which serves as a motivational platform for the volunteers who have been challenged to raise an additional $1 million during the six-week fund drive this fall.

The donation will not be part of the $1 million goal, but will serve as a seed gift. In the future, earnings from the endowment will add to the funds raised by volunteers, providing additional dollars that will be awarded as scholarships.

"The Gemperle family has made an incredible statement of confidence in this university and in the One Purpose campaign," said CSU Stanislaus President Joseph F. Sheley. "And it is an investment in students who will shape the future of our region and California."

The seven Gemperle siblings: Heidi Gemperle, Anita Mahaffey, Susan Abdo, Peter Gemperle, Richard Gemperle, Stephen Gemperle and Michael Gemperle came together to make this significant gift. Their father and mother, the late Ernie and Annemarie Gemperle, established a longstanding family involvement with the university. Each of the siblings expressed their joy in continuing the tradition of their parents by supporting education and their belief in the value of investing in students.

"My parents encouraged all of us to get an education, and so for us to continue our parents' legacy of supporting education is meaningful," said Mahaffey. "I believe that education is a gift that keeps on giving. When you change someone's life with education you not only change his or her circumstance, but you have an impact for generations to come. They will inspire their children and then those children will inspire others."

Growing up locally and contributing to the success of Gemperle Family Farms, each of the siblings has watched the region grow and recognize the impact of CSU Stanislaus graduates.

"We've seen the good that One Purpose does in the community and to assist students who are graduating from the University. And many of these student achievements are being made by first-generation students and their families," said Steve Gemperle, president of Gemperle Family Farms and member of the CSU Stanislaus Foundation Board. "We believe that giving opportunities to these students helps them to become greater contributors to the community after they graduate. This is an important investment that will benefit local businesses."

As preparations are underway for the second year of the campaign — which kicks off on Aug. 27 and concludes Oct. 8 — Vice President for University Advancement Shirley Pok shared that excitement is growing both on and off campus. This gift will serve to motivate and unite volunteers in addition to building an enduring campaign, she said.

"This gift from the Gemperle family will provide us with the opportunity to impact a greater number of students in the future and will strengthen our efforts to support student success," Pok said. "We are so honored by having the Gemperle siblings as a part of our One Purpose story. Their support will endure for years to come."