February 14, 2000 Vol. IV, No. 10

University Received Largest-Ever $1.5M Cash Donation

CSUN Alumna and Husband Back Construction of Aquatic Therapy Center

A Cal State Northridge alumna and her husband have given the university $1.5 million to back construction of a planned aquatic therapy center on campus, CSUN's largest alumni gift and largest single cash donation, CSUN Interim President Louanne Kennedy announced.

Linda and Abbott Brown's gift through their Ridgestone Foundation will help fund the Western Center for Adaptive Aquatic Therapy project at CSUN's Center of Achievement for the Physically Disabled. Linda Brown earned two degrees at the university.

The Ridgestone Foundation's contribution also plays a major role in "CSUN Rising," the university's first campuswide capital initiative. CSUN Rising marks the end of CSUN's earthquake recovery period and its emergence as one of the most modern university campuses in the nation.

"The gift from the Ridgestone Foundation is the largest ever from a Cal State Northridge alum, and is the largest cash gift in the institution's history," Kennedy said. "We are very grateful to the Browns for their generosity, and hope their gift will set the example for future major donations to the university.

"The gift will help make construction of CSUN's Western Center for Adaptive Aquatic Therapy a reality for the university and for residents of the San Fernando Valley," the president added. "This is truly an important facility that will help change human lives, and it exemplifies the university's commitment to community service."

The $3.5 million aquatic center will be an expansion of the current Center of Achievement for the Physically Disabled. Founded and directed by CSUN kinesiology professor Sam Britten, the center is internationally recognized for its success in rehabilitating people who have made little or no progress in other programs.

The aquatic therapy project's four therapeutic pools will help meet the special rehabilitation needs of paraplegics and those with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and joint or soft tissue injuries. The pools also will permit the center for the first time to offer its services to children.

The Browns' gift also triggered the release to CSUN of nearly $1 million in federal funds appropriated for the aquatic project through the leadership of U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita). The aquatic project is expected to enter final design by early June, enabling construction to begin.


February 14, 2000

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