Gallegly Center Information

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The Elton and Janice Gallegly Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement is dedicated to preparing students to lead lives of public service, which the former Rep. Elton Gallegly did for 33 years in local and national offices. The nonpartisan center awards fellowships to undergraduates to cover tuition in the Master of Public Policy and Administration Program and experiential learning opportunities at the local, state and national level. It also will host a visiting scholars and speakers program and archives of Gallegly’s legislative papers.


The fellows have been a diverse group of students, including members of underrepresented groups, and they have pursued a variety of interests without interference. Areas of research and other experiential learning include local governance and civic engagement, comprehensive sex and health education in public schools, paid family and maternity leave policies, and U.S. policies toward refugees from Middle East conflict zones. The students have interned and volunteered for associations ranging from a San Francisco-based health-advocacy nonprofit to a nongovernmental organization dedicated to women’s empowerment in Jordan.


The area in the Pearson Library will serve as a hub for the Gallegly Fellows program and provide access to Gallegly’s archives, space for archival research and a replica of Gallegly’s office. The entire 1,187-square-foot area, which includes the 335-square-foot office replica, will be open to library users as additional study and collaboration space. The office replica area will be added on to the existing library. The rest of the center will be created by installing a roof over what had been an open-air atrium and will be similar to the Writing Center in size and design. Three of the glass walls will be retained and a skylight will cover most of the ceiling. There will not be a wall or doors between the atrium and the office replica. The three walls of the office replica will be solid with one 5-foot-by-10-foot imitation window containing a photo print of a Washington, D.C., view.


An archival consultant has assessed Gallegly’s papers and developed a plan for digitizing those that would be relevant to researchers. We have applied for a grant to fund a two-year project to arrange the archives and complete one-third of the digitization. We are seeking funds to cover the rest of the digitization. Researchers would be able to access the documents remotely or from computers in the center. Original documents would most likely be stored off-site where they could be retrieved if necessary.


Donors, including Gallegly, have contributed all of the money for the construction of the physical center and seven fellowships awarded so far. University Advancement continues to raise funds for the fellowships, archives and programming. Donors who have contributed to the center in recognition of the Republican congressman’s public service include former Rep. Howard Berman, D-California. Berman, a champion of immigrant rights who introduced the bill that became the DREAM Act, disagreed with Gallegly on many issues but worked with him on other causes.


The name of the center acknowledges Gallegly’s donation of not only money but also extensive historic records from his public service. The 13-term member of the House of Representatives is the longest-serving congressional representative in Ventura County history. For naming opportunities within a building, the university’s gift-naming guidelines suggest that the size of the gift or gifts required to name a space should be approximately one-half of its construction or renovation cost. All of the cost of construction has been funded by cash and in-kind gifts from Gallegly and others who donated in recognition of his public service.


Cal Lutheran announced the center’s launch, including plans to house Gallegly’s papers and display his office furniture, both internally and externally in March 2013. Additional press releases on the fundraising gala followed later that year. Media including The Echo, Ventura County Star, Pacific Coast Business Times, CLU Magazine and Washington, D.C.,-based Roll Call did several stories. We launched a webpage identifying the center as a key advancement initiative in 2014 and hung a sign outside the library announcing the location in 2016.


Once it begins, construction should take about five months unless there are unforeseen delays. Isolation walls have been constructed in the library to block noise. This method has been used successfully before in the library, but if noise becomes a significant problem this time we will look for a fix to remedy it.


The Board of Regents voted on Oct. 14, 2017, to authorize construction. The regents also passed the following supporting motion:

The Board affirms the Gallegly Center’s commitment to being a nonpartisan center for students seeking meaningful ways to serve in the government and nonprofit arenas, and understands that those values will enhance and promote the inclusive and global vision of our strategic plan. The Board also welcomes Elton and Janice Gallegly’s support of those values and their personal commitment to raising the funds necessary to complete the Gallegly Center Endowment in support of student fellowships, civic discourse, and the operations of the Center and its archives.  

The Board believes that the Gallegly Center will enhance the mission of the University to educate leaders for a global society who are strong in character and judgment, confident in their identity and vocation, and committed to service and justice. The Board also believes that it will further enhance our commitment to providing and supporting an educational environment that welcomes diverse perspectives and experiences, including our commitments to being an HSI and Yellow Ribbon institution.