Alumni Giving
Bridge Society Luncheon 2023
January 20, 2024 |

Bridge Society Luncheon Celebrates Impact of Legacy Giving

By Jenny McKeel

On Friday, December 8, GGU hosted the annual luncheon for members of the Bridge Society, a celebration of the extraordinary impact members have made by leaving or planning to leave a gift from their estate to Golden Gate University. 

“Your dedication is truly the foundation of our institution’s enduring legacy,” said Barbara Mendelson, Chair of the Board of Trustees, in her opening remarks. “We know that GGU has been a beacon of transformative education for over a century. The support and commitment of individuals like all of you has been instrumental in steering GGU through the changes and various chapters of our history. Your generosity sustains us and propels us forward.” 

 The 2023 Bridge Society luncheon was held at the St. Francis Yacht Club located on the shores of the San Francisco Bay. Attendees enjoyed panoramic views that span from the Golden Gate Bridge to Alcatraz Island. 

Following lunch, Bridge Society members including several members of the Board of Trustees, and Deans heard a University Address from President David J. Fike, followed by inspiring remarks by Kimberlie Martin and Angelica Michela, who have facilitated legacy gifts from the estates of their fathers, alumni of the JD and MBA programs. 

For more than 120 years, the university has offered innovative and practical educational programs that advance the careers of working adults. Today GGU faces new challenges from a dynamic and evolving higher education landscape to unprecedented technological advances that are influencing every aspect of the human experience and will impact teaching and learning. 

“We have a simple vision at GGU – making exceptional higher education available for everyone, with accessibility and affordability. We’re realizing that vision with a strategy that emphasizes local impact and global reach,” explained President Fike. 

Today, GGU is developing a larger and more diverse student body. The University is projecting its history, experience, and skill in ed-tech enabled programs. Faculty and academic leaders have engaged local businesses and are delivering innovative initiatives, including the Degree Plus program and asynchronous online degrees offered internationally in multiple languages. These initiatives are all about making exceptional higher education available to all. 

“The legacy, the history, and the core values that have driven this institution to greatness are alive and well,” said President Fike. “Your role, as members of the Bridge Society, and what you do with your estate that can touch the lives of students that have yet to be born is such a valuable gift and inspiration to us at GGU.” 

Attendees heard from Kimberlie Martin, daughter of Harold W. Martin, JD ‘57 and Angelica Michela, daughter of Alfred V. Sanguinetti, BBA ‘61, MBA ‘65. Both speakers shared stories of the transformative impact of their fathers’ rise to prominence and their love of higher education.

“My dad wanted to give back to the university that gave him his profession and his passion, second only to his love of family and fishing,” commented Kimberlie Martin. “If he were here today, he would be so proud that we were able to bring this scholarship program to fruition. GGU was never far from his heart.” 

Bridge Society members are among the most dedicated and generous supporters of GGU’s mission and impact. Gifts provided through estates and retirement plans contribute directly to the life-changing preparation that enables our students to live their academic and career dreams. There are more than 120 Bridge Society members who enjoy customized updates and access to invitation-only events that keep them connected to GGU. 

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