Cal Lutheran receives largest single gift

Steve Dorfman gives $6M for management building

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During his time at Hughes, Steve Dorfman served as CEO of Hughes Space and Communications Co., Hughes Telecommunications and Space, and Hughes Communications. 

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Oct. 24, 2018) Former Hughes Electronics Vice Chairman Steve Dorfman is making the largest single gift in the history of California Lutheran University, pledging $6 million toward the construction of a building for the School of Management.

The two-story, 27,000-square-foot Steven D. Dorfman Center will bring most School of Management faculty offices on the Thousand Oaks campus together with classrooms under one roof for the first time --- something Dorfman recognized as a need as a member of the school’s Advisory Council for several years.  

“I could see their enormous success, but I could also see the limitations of their current infrastructure, with faculty and students spread all over campus,” said Dorfman, who lives across the street in University Village Thousand Oaks. “I've always been interested in education, and I saw an opportunity for me to make a significant difference at Cal Lutheran by sponsoring an attractive new School of Management building located right in the center, centralizing operations and enhancing the look and feel of the campus. This will enable the School of Management to move to the next level and on its way to become one of the leading business schools on the West Coast.”

“This is one of the most significant developments in the evolution of the School of Management, and we are deeply grateful to Mr. Dorfman for his vision and his generosity,” said School of Management Dean Gerhard Apfelthaler.

During his time at Hughes, Dorfman served as CEO of Hughes Space and Communications Co., Hughes Telecommunications and Space, and Hughes Communications. His responsibilities ranged from directing the landing of five probes on Venus to helping create DirecTV. Dorfman has served on the boards of Hughes, Raytheon and many other companies and on advisory committees to NASA, the Air Force, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Transportation, among others. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and received NASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Public Service Award. After his retirement in 1999, he taught as a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

With Dorfman’s gift and about $500,000 from other donors, Cal Lutheran will now begin public fundraising and planning. The $18 million building will be constructed where Nygreen Hall, an assemblage of portable classrooms completed in 1973, currently stands. A grand lobby with glass curtain walls will face Memorial Parkway. 

The School of Management offers undergraduate programs in business administration as well as MBAs and master’s degrees in information technology, management, public policy and administration, and quantitative economics.