Skip to main content

$1M gift advances Colleges@ASU in Lake Havasu City

September 02, 2011

The Colleges@ASU in Lake Havasu City reached a significant milestone, Aug. 29, when the Havasu Foundation for Higher Education received the largest contribution in its seven-year history.

The $1 million contribution from Mr. and Mrs. James J. Santiago, longtime Lake Havasu City residents and principal owners of Beachcomber Resort  and Island Suites, brought the campaign total to slightly above the $2 million level – the minimum amount required for ASU to proceed with the project.

“Mr. Santiago’s contribution represents an incredibly generous commitment to ASU and to the people of Lake Havasu City,” said HFHE President Steve Greeley. “We’ve been talking for several weeks, and I could see immediately that Mr. Santiago understands and believes in the value of the university to our community.”

Greeley said their talks centered not only on the importance of serving students in this area, but also the potential impact of the ASU campus on the economic, intellectual and cultural life of the community.

“Jim and Shirley believe in ASU,” Greeley said. “They are committed to helping ensure a great future for Lake Havasu City. The Santiagos always have said that Lake Havasu City has been good to them, and this is their way of giving back to the community.”

ASU President Michael M. Crow said, “ASU is thrilled to work with the Lake Havasu community and its leaders like the Santiago family to launch a new center for higher education. The Santiago family sets an example for all of us, building for the future through giving back to the community.”

HFHE launched the Campaign for the Colleges@ASU in Lake Havasu City in March, with a preliminary goal of $2 million to fund Phase I of the renovation of the former campus of Daytona Middle School. Santiago’s gift took the campaign to that threshold.

“I have no doubt that Mr. Santiago’s contribution, along with the incredible support demonstrated by other residents and businesses in Lake Havasu City, will enable the campaign to reach a fundraising level well over the $2 million requirement,” said campaign co-chair Jo Navaretta.

“We are now well on our way to a fall 2012 opening of the Colleges@ASU in Lake Havasu City,” added co-chair Nello Ruscitti.

“Mr. Santiago’s generosity will enable us to leverage even more support in the community,” Greeley said. “When someone steps up at this level, others consider it a strong vote of confidence, and in a way this is just the beginning. When the campaign concludes, I think everyone in Lake Havasu City will be able to share in this incredible accomplishment.”

For more information about the Campaign for ASU at Lake Havasu, see the Foundations website