Cal Poly Pomona will name its College of Agriculture after 1960 alumnus Don B. Huntley, who has pledged a transformative gift.
The gift will provide funds for academic innovations, scientific research and student scholarships. The college is the founding college at Cal Poly Pomona and the only college of agriculture in Southern California.
“We are honored to receive this tremendous gift from our longtime friend and alumnus Don Huntley. I applaud and admire his unwavering commitment and steadfast loyalty to Cal Poly Pomona,” says university President Soraya M. Coley. “Don shares our vision to prepare and promote students for success. His gift will touch countless lives throughout our university and continue to bear fruit for generations to come.”
Huntley is a highly successful farmer, businessman and philanthropist in the San Joaquin Valley. He joins the company of other visionary philanthropists who have nurtured the university since its founding in 1938, including W.K. Kellogg and Jim and Carol Collins.
At its Tuesday, Sept. 20 meeting, the CSU Board of Trustees approved the college naming as the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture.
“Cal Poly Pomona is a wonderful university with a beautiful campus. The students who graduate are making an important impact in California and beyond, and I want to support them and help provide new opportunities,” Huntley says. “We need Cal Poly Pomona students and faculty to continue making advancements in agriculture, biotechnology, science, research and other areas.”
“It is my hope that this gift ensures the ability of the college to grow and innovate long into the future, and to use these resources to position itself as a world leader in agriculture education. I consider Cal Poly Pomona to be my family. My philosophy has always been to invest in what you love, and for me, that is this university.”
Huntley grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and attended Cal Poly Pomona with the intention of becoming a cattle rancher. For his senior project, he used his education in biology and chemistry to study a rare blood disease in cattle.
After graduating in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry, Huntley joined American Cyanamid Corp. in animal health sales. He entered into permanent tree crops in 1966 through a partnership. He later acquired a real estate license and transitioned into a career specializing in the sale of agricultural and recreational land.
Huntley’s previous gifts have touched numerous areas on campus: the Huntley Western Art Collection, the Huntley University Art Gallery, the Huntley Vineyard, as well as support for the Native American Pipeline and Pathways to Graduation program. He has also given to various initiatives in the College of Agriculture, College of Environmental Design, College of Science and College of Education & Integrative Studies.
Huntley was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2004 and received an honorary doctorate of science in 2009. He is a member of Cal Poly Pomona’s Founder’s Society.
The university plans to hold a celebration and dedication event in November.