February 15, 1999 Vol. III, No. 10

Alumni Association Inks Five-Year, $1M Dollar Deal

New Affinity Card Agreement with First USA Bank to Provide $200,000 Annual Payments

One million dollars.

That's seven digits, and it's the largest chunk of money Cal State Northridge's Alumni Association has ever received.

The Alumni Association banked its first installment on that payment-a $200,000 check in October-as part of a new five-year, $1 million affinity agreement with First USA Bank.

Under the terms of the deal, the association will receive subsequent $200,000 checks each October through the year 2002.

"We were the first California State University to have a relationship with First USA Bank," said Gray Mounger, CSUN director of alumni relations.

More than 15,000 people have signed up for a CSUN/First USA card since the affinity program began in 1994. "We have more subscribers than any of the other universities in the CSU system," Mounger said.

Revenues from the agreement may be used for academic purposes and also will help support the Office of Alumni Relations and the association. A major portion of the money will defray the cost of producing and mailing the university's award-winning Northridge magazine.

Mounger said the association's prior contract with First USA brought the campus about $480,000 over a five-year period.

Affinity programs between banks and colleges and universities are common across the country, and many of the larger campuses such as UCLA and USC have similar credit card agreements.

Currently, nine of the 22 CSU campuses, including CSUN, have bank card programs with First USA. Some of the CSU campuses opt to take a single lump sum payment up-front, Mounger said. He said smaller CSUs tend to have agreements with local banks, while larger campuses have partnered with First USA or MBNA.

Other CSU campuses with First USA affinity card programs include Chico, Fullerton, Hayward, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose and Humboldt.

At CSUN, the cards are available to alumni, students, faculty, staff and campus friends. The cards come with a choice of CSUN-oriented designs: either an image of the Oviatt Library or the campus logo.

Applications can be obtained from the Alumni Relations office, located at 9528 Etiwanda Ave. near Plummer Street.

-Steve Gelhaus


February 15, 1999

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