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Cougars & Mustangs



November is here, friends. Time to gather ’round the turkey and count our blessings. I’ll start. One million ... two million ... three million ... OK, I’ll cut it to the chase. Twenty million dollars. That’s not only a practically impossibly large sum, it’s the largest cash gift ever donated to Cal Poly University—and it’s the extremely generous bequest of former Poly students Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer, degree recipients in the studies of agricultural business management and home economics, respectively. The donation was received by the College of Architecture, Food & Environmental Sciences, and is already expected to fully fund three new campus locations as well as help modernize and expand facilities and equipment at the current animal teaching and research centers. So what’s that about three new locations? Well, let’s dive into the vision of Cal Poly Yet to Come!

A new Farm Store is in the works, to help the sales of all meat, poultry, horticulture, dairy, and crop products produced on campus by Cal Poly students.

A new Equestrian Pavilion will be constructed in Via Carta, allowing for expanded event space and needed arena space for current equestrian programs! This Pavilion will be a great boon to students honing their equestrian experiences. There will be both partially enclosed and covered areas at the pavilion, each area 60,000 square feet, along with supporting facilities and vehicle parking for visiting horses.


And, of course, as far as expanded event space goes, a new Agricultural Events Center is to also be built on Via Carta, where the beef unit currently stands. More than 2,500 guests are expected to have available seating in this 70,000-square-foot indoor arena, and the floor will even convert to conference space. It will even offer classrooms bearing the latest in technology. Pretty neat, huh?

It’s also worth noting that the Oppenheimers’ generous gifts don’t stop there. One of a few other goals the couple plans on supporting is the new Cal Poly Food Pantry, which exists to help feed students who might struggle to obtain meals on their own. Though it’s true that college tuition is very expensive, that doesn’t at all mean that a student is rolling in Old Money to be burned like mad. Financial aid is an extremely important service that’s allowed uncountable numbers of students to actually receive their educations. And keeping oneself regularly fed helps to keep the mind thinking properly, aids concentration, and is one of many aids to the terrifyingly high rates of depression commonly found. Many thanks to the Oppenheimers for their very generous gifts!


Intern Chris White-Sanborn has an occasional fear of horses. Send collegiate news to [email protected].

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