A Lasting Legacy

Lori DeMatteis and fellow alumni leave their marks on the college through planned giving

Alumna Lori DeMatteis’ relationship with Cal Poly cuts a distinct silhouette on the horizon of the university’s alumni network.

Herfamily’s connection to the university is bound to last for more than a century. The roots of her relationship run deep while the branches of her legacy extend tall, continuing to grow.

The story begins with a family connection to campus long before DeMatteis was born. Her great uncles rode to Cal Poly on horseback from the Central Valley during the early 20th century when the young institution was a hub for the state’s agricultural community. Cal Poly remained an important source of expertise and inspiration in her family at home in California’s rural Frazier Valley near Porterville.

When she arrived at Cal Poly in the 1980s to earn a business degree, DeMatteis saw a different side of campus. She took her first steps into higher education thanks to a community scholarship. Her success in national business simulation competitions and management club leadership positions inspired her to pursue a career in the booming tech sector that would take her around the globe. After beginning her career at AT&T, she rose to the top of global brands such as General Electric, Oracle and Emerson Network Power (now Vertiv). As an advisor for the Budapest-based Pozi Technologies, DeMatteis now commands board rooms and leads the movement toward artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

In between world travels, the Orfalea College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council gave DeMatteis an opportunity to stay connected as a loyal donor and passionate advocate for new academic programs, career resources and, most importantly, underrepresented students from her hometown.

“There is so much poverty in the lower part of the Central Valley, it is the difference between night and day compared to the metro centers of the state,” said DeMatteis, pointing to the lack of jobs and clean water in the region. “It is important to me that deserving students from this region have a chance to attend Cal Poly and to be able to dream of some-thing bigger — to look at the sky and know that there are no limits to what they can achieve.”

DeMatteis turned her passion into action by planning a future gift to the Orfalea College of Business through a bequest in her will. Her generosity will provide academic scholarships to outstanding students from her community of Porterville. DeMatteis hopes the funding removes financial barriers for young professionals looking to expand their own perspectives and career opportunities.

DeMatteis joins a new wave of donors opting for planned gifts. Planned giving includes a variety of philanthropic options involving wills, trusts, beneficiary of a retire-ment or life insurance policy and annuities that will benefit Cal Poly students after a donor’s lifetime. The Orfalea College of Business has seen a swell of alumni of all ages establishing planned gifts to ensure their generosity empowers more students who will soon fill its classrooms. Since fiscal year 2015, Orfalea’s donors have documented an average of $1.2 million in planned gifts per year.

“I have always felt that it was important to leave a legacy — to give to the future,” DeMatteis said of her motivation for planning a bequest. “Giving to the Orfalea College of Business accomplishes this for me. It offers something lasting that will be part of genera-tions to come.”

DeMatteis thrives in a different world than she envisioned as a student — a distant vision compared to the world her great uncles saw cresting the hills of San Luis Obispo. But her gift has ensured the future can still be rooted in the familiar values of home. Though she will never meet her scholarship recipients, DeMatteis knows they’ll feel the transformative power of a Learn by Doing education.

“My hope is that my gift enables the school to continue to evolve and grow so that there can be many more stories handed down through generations of students and families at Cal Poly.”

Explore Your Planned Giving Options
Making a future gift to the Orfalea College of Business is easier than you might think. Most planned gifts involve naming Cal Poly as a beneficiary in a will or trust. Donors can leave their entire estate to Cal Poly or leave a certain dollar amount or percentage to the university. Even 1 percent of a donor’s estate makes a big impact on students. Bequests can be restricted to a project or program of your choice, like Lori DeMatteis’ scholarship. Orfalea’s development team has sample bequest language that will ensure your intentions are met. Donors are free to alter their plans during their lifetime.

Your family can also leave a legacy at Cal Poly through a variety of assets:
• Designate mutual funds or appreciated securities
• Donate a distribution from your retirement account
• Donate real estate you have owned for more than one year

To learn more about planned giving at Cal Poly, contact Allie Burnett, senior director of gift planning, at 805-756-2925 or alburnet@calpoly.edu.

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