SEASIDE, Calif. (KION) California State University, Monterey Bay said it has received its largest gift in its 25 year history.
The legacy gift came from Monterey Peninsula resident Robert Darwin. The school said it would provide more than $1 million every year for student scholarships for students from low-income and impoverished families, but could not say the exact value of the gift.
CSUMB President Eduardo M. Ochoa said of the gift, "It will provide the financial assistance the majority of our students require to complete their academic studies, graduate and participate in our community as astute global citizens. I have enjoyed getting to know Bob personally and consider him a good friend. On a personal level, he has an outstanding story of his own having led an extraordinary life that is an inspiration to all of us.”
Darwin first came to Monterey in 1945 while in the Navy, but went on to work as an actor, writer and director in Hollywood in the 1950s.
When Darwin moved to a ranch in Carmel Valley, he said his housekeeper, Polly, was a young Mexican immigrant woman who dreamed of becoming a citizen and send her children to college. Darwin said she went on to accomplish her goals, and her daughter is now tax attorney specializing in immigration law.
"That’s what I call success. Polly achieved exactly what she always strove to do, and if my money can help one more immigrant kid earn the same kind of success that Polly achieved for her children, then I know I didn’t do it in vain. In essence, Polly’s determination became the inspiration for my bequest to the university, and I can only thank Polly for her having done so,” Darwin said.
The gift is part of the school's Vision 2020 campaign to reach $100 million. So far, the school said it has raised more than $95 million.