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College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Alumnus Matches Gifts in the Spirit of Competition

Students working on an architecture model
Written By Jayan Kalathil

Each year, Poly Gives brings together alumni, parents, students and friends to support the Mustang legacy of Learn by Doing. they love the most and to ensure that Learn by Doing continues to thrive for generations to come. Some alumni go beyond that and offer up a matching gift, essentially doubling their impact and boosting the gifts of other donors. This spring, one of those generous donors is alum Scott Gaudineer (BA Architecture, ‘79, BAR Architecture, ‘80).

“Last year, a good friend of mine and classmate, Wally Gordon, offered up a $25,000 challenge grant to the CAED,” Gaudineer said. “Well, I then proceeded to send out emails to our fellow classmates to empty Wally's pockets, and we were able to raise a matching $25,000 in about three and a half hours. We almost beat the College of Engineering. So, I'm the designated wallet to be picked this time and I hope they pick me clean.”

Alumnus Scott Gaudineer

Gaudineer is matching gifts up to $25,000 to the College of Architecture and Environmental Design’s Interdisciplinary Studios and Labs & Student Support Fund, a new initiative focused on providing funding for interdisciplinary projects and activities that encourage students from all five departments within the CAED to work together to design, collaborate and innovate.

The project is one Gaudineer is currently championing, as he has various causes at Cal Poly throughout the years, including Cal Poly Career Connections, Cal Poly Scholars and the Food Pantry.

“This is just my way of giving back to a college and a university that gave me a path forward and has allowed me to be very successful in my professional career. And to be able to pay it forward,” Gaudineer said. “I want others behind me, whether it's my relatives or my nieces and nephews, to carry on in that fashion. I see so many wonderful young students here and I want them to succeed, I want them to be part of this great success story.”

Gaudineer has stayed closely connected to Cal Poly over the decades since his time on campus, and it’s also a family affair. His wife, brother-in-law, younger sister, niece and nephew are all Mustang grads. He has volunteered and served on several Cal Poly boards and councils over the years, including the CAED’s Dean’s Leadership Council, the Cal Poly Alumni Association Board and the Cal Poly Foundation Board.

He encourages his fellow Mustang grads to get involved in some way as well, whether that’s through their time, talent or treasure.

“Like anything, when you give of yourself, it's amazing how much you get in return. I would say to my fellow alums, you'd be surprised at what you get back when you get engaged. When you do, it invariably comes back to you with different connections, opportunities or just friendships that blossom out. I'm still in touch with my classmates, often on a weekly basis,” he said.

Born and raised on the East Coast, Gaudineer knew he wanted to be an architect from a young age. His family moved to California when he was in high school, and during his senior year, he and his parents took a trip to scout potential architecture programs at colleges across the state. One of their first stops was Cal Poly.

“I walked in unannounced to the college office and sat down with Ken Schwartz,” he recalled. “He was the associate dean at the time and the mayor of San Luis Obispo. He sat with me for 45 minutes, just a kid coming off the street wanting to know a little bit more about stuff.  I walked out after that meeting and said, ‘I want to go there.’ And I started the next fall. And that was just the beginning of a very long relationship that I've had with the college and the university.”

Gaudineer runs Flewelling & Moody, Inc., an architecture and planning firm based in Los Angeles that he first joined after graduation 40 years ago. His firm specializes in building community facilities, schools, colleges, and multifamily and senior housing. He is also heavily involved in the American Institute of Architects, and is currently active on its national board. He credits much of his professional success to the hands-on education and training he received at Cal Poly.

“The Learn by Doing approach is built into your classes where you actually do things, not just read it in a book. You had to do it to see it and feel it. So, to me, that makes it quite a bit different than other colleges of architecture that are maybe more theoretical. We had our hands physically on things, and that helps in a three-dimensional world to really make all the connections.  By doing that, and exposing us to that, it made it a lot easier for us when we got into the professional world.”

He was also active in the Student Senate, now known as the ASI Board of Directors, another experience that he credits with helping him professionally.

“I learned a lot about compromising, collaboration and consensus building while working with my fellow student senators. And that was a great tool for me to learn at that early age.”

Looking ahead, he’s excited about the impact Cal Poly grads will continue to make in the world. But he wants current and future Mustangs to always remember where they came from.

“You're going to begin a great ride,” he said. “But the ride isn't four years or six years. It's a lifetime. And I would just hang on and enjoy the ride, because it is an amazing, amazing journey.”

Help the College of Architecture and Environmental Design meet his match of $25,000 during Poly Gives!

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