January 30, 2023
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Frosts pledge $20 million for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo research center


Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has received a pledge of $20 million from alumnus William L. Frost and his wife, Linda, toward construction of a planned multidisciplinary undergraduate research and technology center on campus.

The Frosts have pledged the gift in support of Cal Poly’s comprehensive polytechnic education and in hopes of attracting additional donations to fund the estimated $57 million Science & Agriculture Teaching and Research Complex — a center of at least 64,000 square feet that will feature research labs and technology space for Cal Poly’s Colleges of Science & Mathematics, Liberal Arts, and Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences.

“This center will bring Learn by Doing alive for thousands of Cal Poly students across many disciplines,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong in a news release. “We are grateful to Bill and Linda for their generosity, vision and leadership on this project and their ardent support for undergraduate research.”

Bill Frost is a 1972 Cal Poly graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Linda Frost earned a degree in biology from San Jose State University.

“We are thankful for the Frosts’ generosity and for the example they set for the entire CSU,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “Bill and Linda are living proof of how the CSU puts students on track to succeed not only as professionals but also as members of their communities.”

The Frosts said they believe in Cal Poly’s model of involving students in real-world projects.

“My research experience as a Cal Poly student gave me fundamental tools and confidence for success in my career,” said Bill Frost. “Linda and I are very pleased to be able to help provide these same opportunities for generations of future Cal Poly students.”

The Frosts’ pledge continues more than a decade of support for Cal Poly and the College of Science and Mathematics. When classes begin this coming fall, 70 science and math students will benefit from Frost scholarships totaling more than $1 million each year. Each summer, more than 150 students receive stipends funded by the Frosts and other sources to engage in original research with faculty mentors.

“By supporting outstanding student-faculty research opportunities, we hope to help Cal Poly develop undergraduate science and mathematics programs that are among the best in the nation,” said Bill Frost.

With the Frosts’ latest $20 million pledge, a pledge of $8 million made in 2014 by the James G. Boswell Foundation, and other donations, Cal Poly has $35 million promised toward the Science & Agriculture Teaching and Research Complex’s construction. The university will continue fundraising for the remainder of the estimated cost, with an eye toward construction beginning in 2018 and opening two years later.