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Cal Poly Student Affairs Announces Gift Aimed at Eradicating Student Homelessness

June 12, 2018

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly Student Affairs has announced a multi-year gift by the family of an architectural engineering alumnus that aims to erase student homelessness.

Created in honor of late Cal Poly alumnus Donald Tanklage (a 1957 graduate), The Tanklage Family Initiative to End Homelessness at Cal Poly Fund will give a total of $150,000 to assist Cal Poly students struggling with homelessness and housing stability.

“I’m beyond grateful to the Tanklage family for partnering with Student Affairs to take on the challenge of erasing student homelessness,” said Keith Humphrey, vice president for student affairs. “Because of their generosity and care for others, Cal Poly will be able to help struggling students obtain housing and keep them focused on their academics.”

The new fund will be administered through the Cal Poly Cares program, which provides emergency grants for eligible students unable to afford expenses —including housing — that are central to their academic success and wellbeing. Since its inception in 2015, Cal Poly Cares has provided more than $800,000 in emergency grants to 539 students, including $213,000 for housing and meals.

“Housing affordability is a regional issue that impacts everyone, especially students who struggle to meet basic living needs,” said Cal Poly Dean of Students Kathleen McMahon. “I cannot thank the Tanklage family enough for supporting our students.”

The family began supporting Cal Poly students in 2006, establishing the Donald Tanklage Scholarship for Construction Management and Architecture students in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Through this experience, the Tanklage family learned about issues of homelessness among Cal Poly students and were inspired to take action.

About Student Affairs

Cal Poly’s Student Affairs supports student success through the Cal Poly experience by promoting Learn by Doing opportunities, delivering student-centered programs, encouraging personal growth, and empowering students to live within a safe, healthy, inclusive and supportive environment. For more information, visit

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