A Diverse Gift for a Diverse Campus

Chuck and Kathy MendenhallMeeting at a "Hello Dance" in the old Student Union proved to be a great start for Chuck and Kathy Mendenhall. As a first generation college student from the Bakersfield area, Chuck came to SDSU to study engineering. He played water polo in high school and walked onto the SDSU Men's Water Polo team. For academics he started in Aerospace Engineering, but changed his major to Civil Engineering. He graduated in 1971 with a bachelor's degree and in 1975 with his master's. As the daughter of a naval officer, Kathy chose SDSU as it was close by. She liked working with numbers, had exceptional ability in computation and ended up majoring in Mathematics. She graduated from the College of Sciences in 1972 with a degree in Mathematics.

Like the recent Hollywood movie Hidden Figures, Kathy was a real life human computer. She worked for Computer Sciences Corporation, known as CSC, a huge international company with an office in San Diego. She worked on a project that was a contract with the US Navy on Point Loma. She started as a computer programmer, then a computer scientist on a project that maintained and upgraded the program in the Navy's E-2B/E2C airplane.

Chuck's first job after SDSU was with the San Diego County Building Department. He started as a Junior Civil Engineer and ended his time there as a Senior Structural Engineer. After leaving the County Building Department, he joined a small start-up engineering company named EsGil Corporation. It was an engineering services company that contracts services to cities, school districts, CSU and UC systems to provide state required building code and life safety code compliance. The company grew from six employees and three contracts when he joined to 50 employees and approximately 100 contracts in five western states. He became a minority partner in the company, which was aquired in 2016.

Chuck and Kathy are long time donors to SDSU with their first gift of $15 in 1975. The Mendenhall's provide support across campus to Athletics, Engineering, Sciences, Guardian Scholars, Men's Basketball, Women's Water Polo, the EIS, the new stadium and the AGC Chair in Construction Management. Their generous giving makes an impact campus wide.