November 20, 2023
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Letter to the Editor: Gallegly deserves better from CLU


Dear Editor:

As a longtime supporter of Congressman Elton Gallegly, I was pleased to hear that California Lutheran University was going to honor the congressman by establishing the Gallegly Center for Public Service. Our grandson had worked for the congressman, so when CLU announced plans to build the center that would include an exact replica of the congressman’s official Washington, D.C. office, we were the first to donate $100,000, plus in-kind contractual work for the site of over $30,000.

We recently learned that CLU has told the congressman to remove his furniture, flag, pictures and plaques so it can use the replica congressional office for storage of the boxes of the congressional papers. In that CLU committed to archiving and digitizing the documents, its excuse to repurpose the replica congressional office to store the boxes is merely a political move to satisfy the radical far-left faculty and staff. With digitization, the actual documents will rarely need to be accessed so the boxes can easily be stored elsewhere.

As a major supporter of the Gallegly Center, I was asked, approved and served on the Gallegly Advisory Board. The board worked diligently researching archive companies for the project. With Heritage being chosen and approved by CLU, I donated another $10,000 towards this project. We were advised CLU had the Heritage contract and were in the process of executing it. However, CLU later advised they signed a contract with a different company without so much as giving the Advisory Board the company’s name.

When learning of all these “bait and switch” changes, I wrote a strong letter of disapproval on July 26 to CLU President Lori Varlotta, who has not given me the courtesy of a reply. It is time Cal Lutheran needs to honor the commitments they make, not just to the Galleglys, but also all contributors who donate to CLU for the Gallegly Center or other specific CLU projects and purposes.

President Varlotta committed to do a forensic audit of income and expenses for the Gallegly Center. Shortly thereafter CLU’s attorney advised there will be no audit. This is very disturbing to me and should be to all contributors to CLU.

Susan Groff
Northridge, California