Founders’ Celebration Raises $325,000 for Student Scholarships

Founders' Celebration Raises $325,000 for Student Scholarships
President Michael Ortiz shares a laugh with Glen Campbell at Founders’ Celebration.
Approximately 600 alumni, faculty, staff, community leaders and university supporters attended the benefit gala on March 5 at the Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry.
Hugh and Judy La Bounty chat with Michael and Betty Ortiz at Founders’ Celebration.

Founders’ Celebration 2005: A Goodtime with Glen Campbell raised a whopping $325,150 net for Cal Poly Pomona student scholarships and academic enrichment.

Approximately 600 alumni, faculty, staff, community leaders and university supporters attended the benefit gala on March 5 at the Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry.

Cal Poly Pomona’s division of University Advancement and the University Educational Trust hosted the universitys premier social and support event. President Michael Ortiz served as the event’s master of ceremonies and co-auctioneer.

A special performance by Grammy-award winning singer Glen Campbell highlighted the evening. Campbell generously expanded his 60-minute show to 75 minutes as a gift to the university.

Campbell’s stellar career has spanned four decades, and received acclaim in both country and pop circles. His music has made him an international celebrity with hits like Gentle on My Mind, Wichita Lineman, Southern Nights, By the Time I Get to Phoenix and Rhinestone Cowboy. Campbell has sold more than 40 million records in addition to appearing in countless recordings as an in-demand session guitarist.

During his performance, Campbell cited some of his life experiences, including signing an autograph for John Wayne’s 8-year-old daughter on the set of his TV show (“The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour”). This was done at Wayne’s request when he came on the show.  It led to Campbell getting a role in the Wayne classic “True Grit.”

Wayne won his first OSCAR for his role and Campbell joked that it was he who gave Wayne that “extra push” to get him the OSCAR. Campbell then sang the top 40 hit True Grit from the movie.

He also performed: Gentle on my Mind, Wichita Lineman, Galveston, Country Boy, Southern Nights, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Rhinestone Cowboy (Grammy Record of the Year – 1975), William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger theme – performed acoustically on a 12 string guitar), Lovesick Blues (tribute to Hank Williams Sr.), A Beach Boys medley (Campbell replaced Brian Wilson on tour with the Beach Boys when Wilson elected to stay home and write music), and a duet with his daughter Debby Campbell.

A dozen voice auction items contributed $83,250 to the event. Among popular auction items was a custom-made guitar Campbell played during the show and then signed. Three-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode, an Animal & Veterinary Science student at Cal Poly Pomona, offered a private, two-hour shooting lesson. A one-week, two-unit timeshare in South Lake Tahoe, raised $10,000. Also going for $10,000 was a dinner for 10 hosted by President Ortiz and his wife, Betty, at the Manor House and staffed by The Collins School of Hospitality Management’s students and faculty.

New to this years Founders’ Celebration was an opportunity for guests to contribute directly toward scholarships. Within 10 minutes, guests pledged an additional $61,650 toward student scholarships.

Each year, the university’s reputation for a first-class Founders’ Celebration continues to grow with a line-up that has included Paul Anka, the Smothers Brothers and now Glen Campbell. Those who have suggestions for next years entertainment (and connections to the entertainer) are encouraged to contact the Founders’ Celebration Committee at (909) 869-5437.