The pennies sliding around in the car console, the forgotten dollar bill between the couch cushions, or the jar of change in your dresser might not look like a lot of money, but it has the power to change a student’s life.
Some members of the athletics department are making an impact on the campus community through small monthly donations. For the three individuals, it is a way of giving back to a place that has given them something irreplaceable.
Honoring a Loved One
“Beautiful environment,” “strong academics” and “great place to work” are just a few of Coach Greg Kamansky’s favorite things about working at Cal Poly Pomona. To him, supporting the university is just a small way of saying thanks.
Arriving on campus in 1998, Kamansky immediately enrolled in the payroll deduction program available to faculty and staff. “The university has done a lot for me and my family,” Kamansky says. “Giving back is part of the package.”
Kamansky, who coaches men’s basketball, sees the difference that small gifts can make. They help buy shoes for the entire team and cover transportation costs for the conference tournament.
After his father passed away in 2006, Kamansky knew that the best way to honor his memory would be to set up a scholarship. Every year, the Gerald Kamansky Scholarship Endowment provides a $500 scholarship for an exceptional student athlete on the basketball team.
“It takes money to put on programs, and I think everyone on campus knows that,” Kamansky says. “If everyone who worked here gave even two or three dollars a month, that would build up. Student support or university support or alumni support — it all helps. No amount is too little.”
‘A World of Difference’
Looking back at his college career, Damion Hill knows how significant a helping hand can be.
“Did somebody help you going through college? The answer usually is yes,” he says. “A parent, an aunt or uncle or some other outside influence — none of us went through it by ourselves.”
Enrolling in the payroll deduction program was a no-brainer for Hill, associate head coach for men’s basketball. “You should give back to where you work because that’s the place you can see the most benefits,” he says.
Through payroll deduction, he supports the Black Faculty & Staff Association in providing student scholarships. “It’s the little things in life that get people through bigger things,” he says. “It’s all the little things, at the end of the day or the end of the school year, that mean a world of difference.”
Hill, who is also an alumnus (’02, marketing), says giving helps him grow as a person. “The one quote I always leave with my students is from Ernest Hemingway: ‘There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.’”
A Phenomenal Experience
Ruem Malasarn can’t imagine a better undergraduate experience than the one he had in the athletic training program.
“I had a phenomenal experience here — learning how to work with athletes, how to deal with people and injuries, and actually getting to do that hands-on versus just reading about it and taking exams,” he says.
Malasarn, a 1997 graduate in kinesiology and head trainer since 2002, donates a small part of his monthly paycheck to the athletic department’s training program. For him, watching students succeed is what makes it worthwhile.
“I think that if you really believe in what you’re doing and believe in the future of the students that you’re teaching, it’s a very simple way to give them an opportunity.”
How to Give
Faculty, staff and administrators are significant stakeholders in any effort to advance the university, which is why Cal Poly Pomona has launched a campaign to encourage and recognize their giving. To see some of those who have made supporting the university a part of their lives, visit bit.ly/1gGJMTo.
To make a donation via payroll deduction, visit https://www.cpp.edu/~advancement/forms1/cd88-fill.pdf for the form.