SAN DIEGO — Robert DeKoven, who was an Associated Students president at San Diego State University in the late 1970s, announced Wednesday he will donate $1 million toward his alma mater’s Pride Center and LGBT Studies program.
The gift was announced at SDSU’s annual Pride flag-raising ceremony. It’ll support curricular and co-curricular activities at the university.
“I can never repay SDSU for the educational experience I received here,” said DeKoven, a legal writing professor at California Western School of Law and affiliated faculty member in SDSU’s LGBT Studies Program. “Now I have the ability to give students the kind of support I needed. Today we are planting a seed that will grow and grow.”
DeKoven is a longtime supporter of SDSU’s Lavender Graduation, which celebrates the achievements of graduating LGBTQ students. He co-authored the Human Dignity Ordinance passed by the San Diego City Council in 1990 to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
SDSU is the second university in the U.S. and the first in California to offer a major in LGBT studies, according to the school.
The Campus Pride Index recently ranked SDSU in its 2017 Best of the Best Top 25 list of LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. SDSU has been included in the ranking for the past eight years.
“Rob’s generous gift is a testament to the persistence of our students, alumni and campus partners who are committed to inclusivity on campus,” said Eric Rivera, vice president of SDSU Student Affairs. “Our Pride Center and our university LGBTQ+ initiatives provide opportunities that challenge and support our students’ personal growth and development while allowing them to connect with other students and celebrate our differences, making the SDSU experience unique and powerful.”