Jim Hare and Betsy McCullough give to Cal Poly for a simple reason: “We support you because Jake loves you,” said Hare. Jake Hare (Biological Sciences, Modern Languages and Literatures, ‘09) is their son, now a veterinarian in San Diego.
“We feel that Cal Poly gave him the confidence to succeed in veterinary school,” McCullough said. “Cal Poly supported him from the very beginning, from our first visit to campus when a biology professor took the time to answer all his questions about using that degree to get into vet school.”
Jake was a Cal Poly Scholar and received a scholarship that covered tuition. “You helped us before we helped you. We hope we’re paying it back in some small measure,” Hare said.
Just as Hare and McCullough were present and supportive during Jake’s time at Cal Poly — for example hosting the ultimate Frisbee team during tournaments — their continued giving reflects his Cal Poly experience. For Jake’s birthday present, Hare and McCullough contributed to the new Science and Agriculture Teaching and Research Complex in his name.
They felt the interdisciplinary nature of the facility — which will be shared between science and math, agriculture and liberal arts — symbolizes the intersection of Jake’s dual degrees at Cal Poly.
“By having Jake’s name on the donor wall, he’ll have a permanent place in an interdisciplinary landscape at Cal Poly,” Hare said.
Hare and McCullough are also excited about a recent gift they made that will allow biology students to travel to scientific conferences. As a member of the College of Fellows of the American Planning Association, McCullough has organized professional planning conferences and seen the impact of conference attendance on students. The couple wanted to provide the same opportunities for Cal Poly students.
“By going to a conference, students really benefit from professional contacts and see how things work in the real world,” McCullough said. “It makes us feel good to help students gain the confidence they need to get a strong start in their profession.”
During the last year, more than 60 biology students presented at professional conferences on a wide variety of subjects ranging from snakes and fish to the molecular nature of life. These future scientists networked and engaged with experts in their fields, giving students an invaluable step-up in their career preparation.
And because their gift is set up as an endowment, the generosity of these proud Cal Poly parents will change the lives of students just like these — and like Jake — for years to come.