DONOR PROFILE: Cal Poly Provost Kathleen Enz Finken
Swanton Pacific Ranch Endowment Upon her first visit to Swanton Pacific Ranch, Cal Poly Provost
about a vast number of topics, allowing them to get involved
the university’s Learn by Doing philosophy.
“It is very compelling to me because every college we have
Kathleen Enz Finken knew that it was a priceless attribute to
Like others who had visited before her, she was enchanted by the
breathtaking beauty of the ranch. However, it was the vast learning
opportunities it offers and model of excellent land stewardship that compelled Enz Finken and her husband, Gerald, to give. After consulting with Swanton Pacific Director Brian
Dietterick, the couple pledged a financial gift to hire a staff member to support the ranch’s operations. They are also
building an endowment over time that will assist with costs well into the future.
Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch, located along California’s scenic Highway 1 in Santa Cruz County, is a 3,800-acre
ecologically diverse living laboratory. The ranch, managed
has the opportunity to be active there. Whether studying land management, public policy, education or engineering — there is a way to get involved at Swanton Pacific Ranch.”
Educational opportunities available at the ranch extend
beyond the traditional classroom and offer hands-on lessons
in sustainable agriculture, timber harvesting, natural resource management, and riparian protection.
Enz Finken and her husband are passionate about land
management and environmental concerns. They also have close ties to agriculture. Enz Finken was raised on a New Jersey farm and worked the land alongside her family. The farm remains in their family today.
by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences,
“It is a very beautiful place, and it holds deep meaning for us,”
of its lands, including cropland, redwood forest and grassland
resources and have preserved it to ensure that it will remain
is known as an ecological hotspot because of the biodiversity
for cattle grazing. It is used by hundreds of Cal Poly students
annually through internships, courses, field trips and research. “That variety makes it a wonderful place for students to learn 10
in projects and research from many angles,” said Enz Finken.
said Enz Finken. “We are invested in the stewardship of natural farmland forever.”
Enz Finken said she sees her financial support of Swanton
Pacific Ranch as a way to encourage similar actions by others.