Alumni and friends of the California State University (CSU) provided record support for the university, according to the CSU Annual Report on External Support presented Tuesday to the Board of Trustees.

In 2007-08, charitable gifts commitments of $442 million were received, up 35 percent from last year. The 2006-07 donations also exceeded all previous charitable giving records.

“Our donors have shown great generosity and placed their strong confidence in Cal State,” said Garrett P. Ashley, CSU vice chancellor for university relations and advancement. “Especially in times of economic downturn, our friends and alumni understand the university‚Äôs commitment to building the workforce of tomorrow.”

At Fresno State, $18,455,809 in pledges and gifts were received as a part of the Campaign for Fresno State, the university’s first-ever comprehensive campaign. Included in this total was a $10 million gift for the Henry Madden Library from Table Mountain Rancheria, representing the largest cash gift received in university history.

Fresno State surpassed its $100 million goal for creation of the campaign’s nucleus fund, with $102 million in gifts and pledges by Dec. 31, 2008. The campaign concludes in 2012.

Giving for the first half of fiscal year 2008-9 is strong and has nearly surpassed the annual total for 2007-08. In August 2008, the university announced that William Lyles, president and CEO of Lyles Diversified Inc., his family and their companies committed a $10 million gift for the College of Engineering, which was recently renamed the Lyles College of Engineering.

According to the report, which covers external support received from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008, charitable gift receipts (new gifts and pledge payments) totaled more than $260 million, besting the $234 million received in 2006-07 by almost 12 percent.

Donors provided more than $19 million for student scholarships, $24 million for public service programs and $92.5 million for academic initiatives, applied research, athletics, and other current university objectives.

Capital enhancements included $32 million to build top quality facilities, and $70 million added to endowments. Another $21 million in irrevocable deferred gifts were committed to provide for the future needs of the CSU.

In addition to charitable support, the CSU also received more than $1.2 billion in operating grants and contracts, of which $743 million came from the federal government.

Student financial assistance in the form of grants and work study programs accounted for nearly $406 million received in federal dollars. Much of the remaining federal grant funding went to work in a variety of fields such as: biotechnology, marine exploration, national intelligence, strategic languages, service learning and sustainability.