Cal Poly Raises $1.1 Million to Fund Expansion of Coatings Facilities


Cal Poly’s Kenneth N. Edwards Western Coatings Technology Center (WCTC) recently completed a $1.1 million fundraising campaign to support an expansion that will nearly double its available lab facilities. The additional 2,100 square feet of lab and office space will be used to expand research and testing services and increase student enrollment.

The two-year campaign began in 2015 with a foundational gift of $100,000 from the Dunn-Edwards Corporation. A generous donation of $500,000 from the Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation raised the campaign above its initial goal of $1 million. Established by the late Stanley Wayne Ekstrom, president of Cardinal Paint & Powder, the Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation promotes community efforts related to health, justice, and education, with an emphasis on programs that support the development and care of children and young adults.

Combined contributions from the Los Angeles, Golden Gate, and Pacific Northwest coatings societies were crucial to the success of the campaign and totaled more than $200,000. Other key industry supporters include Kelly-Moore Paint and Horn Companies. Individual donations from industry professionals and Cal Poly alumni also played a significant role in exceeding the campaign goal.

“We are so grateful for the support of the Stanley W. Ekstrom Foundation and our industry partners. This additional space will allow us to increase our support of the coatings industry in many ways, including educating more Cal Poly graduates ready to make an impact on day one,” said Ray Fernando, WCTC director.

The WCTC connects the university’s Polymers and Coatings Program to partners in industry. Through the center, Cal Poly offers intensive short courses, testing services, contract research, and other collaborative opportunities to the paint and coatings industry.