California Baptist University will receive the largest gift in its 73-year history — $28.5 million— from real estate developer Dale E. Fowler and his wife, Sarah Ann. CBU will name its 5,050-seat campus events center in their honor.
“We are extremely thankful to Dale and Ann for their generosity and support,” said Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, president of CBU. “This gift will be instrumental in our ability to continue delivering upon our mission to help students live God’s purpose in their lives. The Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler Events Center will be a reminder of how their generosity will impact CBU for generations to come.”
The Fowlers were originally introduced to CBU by their friends Billie Yeager and her late husband, Gene, who were early and significant supporters of CBU. Dale and Ann also have two grandchildren who graduated from CBU. Dale Fowler is an Orange County native and businessman. The couple divides their time between residences in Massachusetts and Southern California.
“Supporting education is a priority for us,” Dale Fowler said. “It’s an honor to contribute to a university that makes a lasting impact on the lives of its students and in the areas, they go on to work, serve and live. CBU is a remarkable Christian institution and we are proud to support the important things happening on campus.”
The Fowlers have donated to CBU and other colleges in Southern California and in Massachusetts. Their previous gifts to CBU supported endowed and general scholarships and the Endurance Fund, created to help the university through the pandemic. The couple’s latest gift is not designated to a particular project, university officials said.
“Working with Dale and Ann over the years has been a blessing and I am thrilled their legacy will be on full display at the events center,” said Paul J. Eldridge, J.D., vice president for University Advancement. “Friends like the Fowlers who invest in future generations unlock tremendous opportunities to enhance the student experience and impact student lives. It is exciting to think of the many ways Dale and Ann’s gift will help future students reach their educational goals.”
The 5,050-seat Events Center opened in 2017. The 153,000-square-foot building provides space for Division I basketball games, weekly chapel services, and commencement ceremonies, among other events.