In 1963, three staff members of California Lutheran University met to find ways to stimulate the interest of the Thousand Oaks business community in the University's athletic and cultural programs.

David Betts, then honorary mayor of the unincorporated "village" of Thousand Oaks, liked the idea of such an organization and offered his support. He invited others to a dinner on campus, and the response was enthusiastic. The first dinner in the fall of 1963 was attended by 150 townspeople, and that night, the Community Leaders Association was born.

In 1966, Community Leaders membership grew to include Ventura and Los Angeles County residents sharing a desire to take an active role in the academic and cultural development of their burgeoning community. Throughout the years, the Association has contributed to the educational, cultural and economic development of the region through its service to Cal Lutheran. Today with more than 150 active members, the Association is the University's link to the community it serves.

Through the years, the Community Leaders Association has contributed more than $1.9 million to enhance Cal Lutheran's academic programs and provide scholarships for its students.