After spending more than 30 years as a professor in the Leisure Studies and Recreation Department, retired CSUN professor Isabelle Walker recently donated her Antelope Valley property to CSUN as an endowment to support the study of nonprofit management.
According to Walker, the property has increased in value since she purchased it in 1974. The 2.5-acre property in the northern Lancaster area has an estimated value of $50,000.
“I hope that it will benefit CSUN in any way possible,” said Walker. “For most of my life, I’ve studied nonprofit and philanthropy, (and donating the property) is just something I wanted to do.”
The property will be used to establish The Isabelle Walker Endowment for Nonprofit Organization Studies at CSUN. It will underwrite faculty and student awards, as well as be used as a primary location for seminars, research and fieldwork in nonprofit studies.
The College of Health and Human Development will distribute funds from the endowment. Renovations are currently being done to the property to prepare it for use.
Walker now lives in Spokane, Wash., where she said she spends her time helping out different organizations. When she is not out on the golf course, she volunteers her time at the local senior center.
“I’ve always been interested in nonprofit studies and helping out the community,” said Walker. “My siblings and I were raised in civic studies, and I continue to volunteer my time up here in Spokane.”
While at CSUN, Walker taught classes on planned-giving and endowments before retiring in 2001. As a professor in the Leisure Studies and Recreation Department, Walker specialized in the area of nonprofit management.
“She pioneered the academic study of volunteerism and not-for-profit organizations at Cal State Northridge in the department of Leisure Studies and Recreation,” said friend and former colleague Dianne Philibosian, leisure studies and recreation professor. “She is a fabulous example of demonstrating her values and beliefs regarding charitable activity.”
According to Philibosian, Walker had the gift of leadership, and her dedication inspired others.
“She is a very generous individual,” said Craig Finney, leisure studies and recreation department chair. “I have a long history of working with Dr. Walker, both as a graduate student and as a colleague. She is a remarkable person.”
Finney replaced Walker as the department chair in 2001.
The department’s mission is to provide a challenging, student learning-centered education that prepares professionals with a commitment to enhance the quality of life through recreation, leisure and play. The department offers options in areas such as event planning, outdoor recreation, and nonprofit management.
“I can’t picture any other study that I’d rather be involved with than non-profit management,” said Walker. “I could’ve gone into tennis or some other area, but nothing is more gratifying than giving back.”
to the community.”