Alum transitions from making—to answering—the call to give
Cal State L.A. alumnus Andre Khachtourians ’05 says he continues to support Cal State L.A. to provide other students with the same access to education that other donors provided him.
It was just a year after Andre Khachtourians ’05 graduated from Cal State L.A. that he received his first call to give back.
“I was looking forward to it,” said Khachtourians, who worked during college in the University’s Office of Annual Giving, serving first as a student caller and then a supervisor. He is now the director of annual giving for the Otis College of Art and Design. “I wanted to start giving back as soon as I graduated.”
His first donation of $100 launched a philanthropic tradition upon which he continues to build. Bypassing the occasional “coffee obsession,” Khachtourians jokes, he has been able to consistently support the Cal State L.A.—and more specifically, the Annual Fund.
The Annual Fund provides the University with its greatest source of unrestricted support—a major lifeline—and furthers students’ academic opportunities through scholarships, programming and campus enhancements.
“I have made giving my life’s passion,” he explained, adding that he also stays active with his alma mater by volunteering and serving on the CSULA Alumni Association’s Board of Directors and Scholarship Committee.
“If I am lucky enough to make money, I’m lucky enough to give it away. I can’t give huge donations right now, but I give what I can and every bit counts!” he emphasized. “Ten dollars, $20, $100—each gift is worth so much more to each and every single student.”
Khachtourians knows what he is talking about; he speaks from experience.
During his sophomore year at Cal State L.A., Khachtourians was faced with the dire prospect of having to drop out because he could not afford the following quarter’s fees. He was working two jobs and doing well in school—but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, he said.
It was then, however, that Khachtourians received what for him was a path-altering gift: the Cal State L.A. Richard Lewis Scholarship. With the financial support from that one individual as well as another scholarship from the Alumni Association, Khachtourians was able to complete his bachelor’s degree in business and start his career without delay.
“I don’t want any student at CSULA to ever feel like I did that day when I realized I couldn’t pay for school—I felt depressed, hopeless and unworthy,” he said. “I never want money to be a factor in any student’s decision to not continue their education at CSULA.”
Once he could focus on his studies, his Cal State L.A. experience, Khachtourians added, became magical.
“I grew up at CSULA. I found ‘me’ there,” he explained. “I sat with other students who wanted the same thing as me—a quality education, to provide for their families, to be better people, and to better their communities.”
To join Khachtourians in giving, visit the University's Giving Portal.