Skip to main content

Mustang Pride Runs in this Family

Sandy_and_Lauren_Layne family photo
Written By Jayan Kalathil

Husband-and-wife Cal Poly alumni Sandy and Lauren Layne (Graphic Communications, '00 and Soil Science, '06, respectively) are still full of Mustang pride and have found ways to stay involved and give back to their alma mater.

"I really enjoyed my time and the people at Cal Poly -- the other students, the professors -- and that's why we've been pretty involved ever since," Lauren said.

"It was a time for me to learn, not only educationally, but personally," Sandy said. "I made a lot of good friends, and I wish I could have stayed there longer."

Layne family in Cal Poly gear

Today, Lauren is a partner at the law firm Baker, Manock & Jensen in Fresno, specializing in water law and agribusiness matters. Sandy works for Knight Material Technologies, which manufactures acid resistant ceramics used in mining chemical/sulfuric acid production. 

The couple met years ago at a barbecue in San Luis Obispo and now have two sons, ages 11 and 9, who are set on following in their parents' footsteps. "I think we've brainwashed them enough already that their first choice is Cal Poly," Lauren said.

They remain grateful and appreciative of the education they received at Cal Poly, and each became a donor soon after graduation. "I started giving back right away just to stay in touch," Sandy said.

"We've donated time, talent and treasure," Lauren said. "Probably more time and talent initially, and we're still not at the treasure part we'd like to be, but we do what we can." They contribute monthly to Cal Poly and have made arrangements to support future generations of Mustangs through their estate plan that will someday establish scholarships in their respective colleges, the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts.

Layne family portrait

They have also been active in local alumni chapters in Modesto and Fresno, both holding official positions on the chapter boards at different times. Lauren is starting her ninth year serving on the Cal Poly Alumni Association's (CPAA) board of directors and is now president. In 2019 she joined the Dean's Advisory Council for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences as well.

While they know not everyone can be as involved as their family is, they encourage other alumni to stay connected to their college and give back however they can.

"Many people say they don't have a lot of money to give back to Cal Poly," Lauren said. "But it doesn't have to be a million-dollar gift. It doesn't matter how much. Find something you are passionate about and give. Maybe it's a program, a professor or an idea. I would encourage people to look at the different ways you can give to Cal Poly."

Sandy added, "Give what you can to support this school so that they can provide the opportunities that we had when we were there. Part of giving is also being involved, so if you can't give, at least connect with an alumni group. There are alumni groups across the country, so it's easy to stay connected."

Lauren interjected, "And let's be real. Cal Poly people are always fun to be around anyway."

Learn More about Cal Poly Planned Giving