Debbie Juran champions support for students most in need at CSUMB


December 1, 2020

Legacy gift to benefit low-income and first-generation students

Debbie Juran, Foundation of California State University, Monterey Bay board member and adoptive mother of two CSUMB Alumnae, established a planned gift for CSUMB's College of Education, which predominantly benefits low income and first-generation students.

"I respect what the College of Education is doing very much, and their direction inspired and focused my philanthropic goals for a gift to CSUMB," says Juran. "When I learned that most first-generation students don't have money for study materials or even the essentials of life, I saw I could make a positive impact."

As a member of the Foundation of CSUMB Board, she is a motivating voice for the community to help those most in need who are struggling to improve their lives and the lives of their families. Earlier this year, Juran established a basic needs fund to support the university's most vulnerable students. These funds are crucial to students navigating the economic impact of a global pandemic.

When Juran heard about homelessness and food insecurity among the campus's students this year, she decided the need was too great and took action. Her contribution, guided by CSUMB's Financial Aid Office, helps students with few family resources meet basic needs while coping with challenges made worse by the pandemic.

Juran says, "Hearing that students, mostly first-generation college attendees, were striving for a degree while also dealing with food and housing insecurity was simply unacceptable. I think it's important that we stand behind our students as a community of caring adults now and every year."

Eduardo M. Ochoa, President of CSUMB, welcomed Juran's gift with the following remark: "Debbie is an amazing champion for our students with the most need. We are extremely grateful for this generous gift. Her personal story and commitment to giving back to the community are the embodiment of how we teach at CSUMB through our commitment to service-learning."

Born to a bricklayer father who didn't have access to educational opportunities and a mother from coal-mining country in Pennsylvania, Juran and her brothers were driven to succeed academically. She attended Bucknell University on scholarships and work-study. "Giving people opportunities for an education they otherwise couldn't afford is a core value of mine," she says. "Combine that core value with the caliber of people and educational opportunities available at CSUMB, and it's a compelling situation."

As one of the few women in wealth management, Juran has been advising clients and their families for over 40 years. She considers herself blessed to have the trust and longevity of relationships with the people she advises.

Her daughters Elyse and Morgan were both adopted at birth. Juran raised them as a single, working mother without, she says, the help of an owner's manual. Both girls initially went away to college. They both struggled and eventually returned home and enrolled at CSUMB. "Although it was a challenging time for all of us, it was the right and courageous move on behalf of the girls," says Juran.

Both her daughters graduated from CSUMB—Elyse in 2013 and Morgan in 2017. Juran says, "They both have great jobs; they're wonderful women and productive human beings. I'm very proud of both of them."

Barbara Zappas, Vice President of University Advancement and CEO of the Foundation of CSUMB, explains, "We began the Vision 2020 campaign by working with our Foundation board members and campus leaders. Debbie was instrumental in helping identify our top initiatives for student success, academic excellence, program innovation, state of the art facilities, and discretionary program funds. When she identified that extra help was necessary for a portion of our student population most in need, she took on the role of advocate. Debbie's extraordinary trust in our strategic direction with her significant philanthropic investments is heartwarming."

"We believe our community of donors and friends will stand beside us as we build CSUMB for the future and continue to show their confidence with their philanthropic support," said Zappas. "We are approaching our goal of $100 Million for the campaign and looking forward to celebrating together in 2021!"

Donate to CSUMB's Provost Student Emergency Fund, providing assistance and relief to our students in the most urgent of need.