CLA Alumni and Development

Highlighting CSULB Alumni and Southern California Community

Welcome, College of Liberal Arts Alumni! This page is dedicated to spotlighting our alumni, highlighting scholarships, and displaying new projects. Our alumni do amazing work, engaging communities and making a difference in students’ lives.

The CLA’s mission is to supply community partnerships and opportunities for students, helping students accomplish their academic and professional goals. This work could not be done without the support of the alumni community. Each year, more than 10,000 students graduate and become Beach alumni and their accomplishments deserve to be highlighted.

CSULB is a major driver of the California Economy and Beach alumni are a major part of the state’s success rate. The university is a thriving hub of activity, working together with our many partners to keep pace with the demands of our time.

To learn more about how you can help propel the College of Liberal Arts forward, see our current philanthropic priorities. To make a gift to the College of Liberal Arts, see our giving page.

Press Release

CSU: Long Beach Appoints New Jain Studies Endowed Chair

Long Beach, California – For Immediate Release –

Dr. Jasvant Modi and Jane Close Conoley, President of the University

The Department of Religious Studies at California State University: Long Beach has appointed Dr. Shivani Bothra as assistant professor and the Bhagwan Suvidhinath Endowed Chair in Jain Studies.

Dr. Bothra’s work focuses on non-violence, modernization, and women in the Jain tradition. Jainism is an ancient religion that has three main tenants, Ahimsa (non-violence to all living beings), Apringraha (non-materialism), and Anekantavada (plurality of beliefs or open-mindedness).

The position was named after the 9th Tirthankara who, in the Jain tradition, is someone who conquered the cycle of rebirth and became a spiritual teacher to others. The creation of this position was generously funded by Dr. Jasvant Modi and the Shah Foundation on behalf of Mrs. Raksha and Mr. Harshad Shah.

Dr. Modi came to the United States from India in 1975. After a long career in gastroenterology, he retired in 2014 and now spends his time in philanthropy.

Not only does he support centers that help to provide access to food, healthcare, and education to the Jain community in Southern California, he also has donated to over 30 universities across the globe to establish endowed chairs in Jainism. In 2023, Dr. Modi was awarded the Ahimsa Day Award by the Institute of Jainology in London. The award is given annually to someone who embodies the idea of ahimsa, or nonviolence.

Inspired by his own experiences, Dr. Modi is passionate about giving to educational institutions. He cites the kindness of others providing subsidized funds and hostel stays as the reason he was able to get his own higher education in India. Dr. Modi has since helped to rebuild the hostel in which he previously stayed in order to provide housing for students, including those outside of Jainism.

Dr. Modi is a strong believer that a basis in humanities is necessary for a peaceful and prosperous world. He is hopeful that providing education about Jainism to the general public can not only raise awareness about the underrepresented religion, but to help spread the values of Jainism. When speaking on the current state of the world, Dr. Modi said he “would like to see belief in non-violence [and] if there is a difference of belief, respect other people.”

Dr. Bothra is excited about her new position and will be teaching several classes not only on Jainism, but about the role of non-violence in world religions. “The embrace of Jain Studies by the Department of Religious Studies at California State University, Long Beach is a testament to the profound impact of Jainism, standing as a formidable pillar in the study of religions. It unfolds an unparalleled philosophy, affirming the unity of humanity and underscoring the paramount importance of harmonious coexistence among all beings,” she said.

Dr. Bothra will be an invaluable addition to Long Beach’s Religious Studies department. We would like to thank Dr. Modi and look forward to supporting Dr. Bothra as she takes her place at the university.

Alumni Spotlight

Claudine Ajeti, Political Science ‘59

As a CSULB student in the 1950s, Claudine Ajeti stood out as the only woman enrolled in the Political Science Department. She recalls often feeling like her contributions were not taken seriously. However, she didn’t become discouraged. Instead, she says learned to stand up for herself and her work.

She became head of the Young Democrats and was integral in inviting the candidates for Governor of California in 1958 to campus to speak with students. When she graduated in 1959, she was the top student in her department.

After graduation from CSULB, Ajeti attended the University of San Francisco, where she earned a master’s degree in Education Administration. Since then, her career was largely

split between consulting for the State Department of Social Services and serving as the principal of Adult Education for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Throughout her career, Ajeti was passionate about bettering the lives of adults. As a principal, she was particularly passionate about improving educational access and reducing poverty rates for women and immigrants. In conjunction with UCLA, she worked on a project that helped mothers of young children to complete their education and discovered that children with educated mothers were more likely to seek education as well. In the late ’70s, Ajeti was invited alongside several others to the White House by first lady Rosalynn Carter to recognize Ajeti for her work with the California Refugee Resettlement Program.

Now retired, Ajeti reflects on meeting so many people who worked hard often remained trapped in poverty. “The only thing I could do to deal with it [poverty] was to engage the university,” she said.

Ajeti partnered with CSULB to create a joint goal of empowering the working class to be part of the decision making and to bring about positive change. Ajeti decided to help fund the creation of a new Labor Studies Institute. This new institute would do research that could help to identify this disparity in wealth distribution.

Ajeti firmly believes that “the laboring class needs to be part of the decision-making process and help set the goals for what the compensation will be for their work and effort.” With the development of the Labor Studies Institute, Ajeti and CSULB are looking forward to being a part of the efforts to improve the lives of individuals.

Alumni Spotlight Archives

Link to Alumni Spotlight Archives

Sustaining Excellence

Below are a few of the current philanthropic priorities for the College.

  • College of Liberal Arts Internship Program: Endow the College of Liberal Arts Internship Program to supply practical training for the largest cohort of students at the university. Pairing individual students with relevant job training in their chosen fields will give them the opportunity to earn class credit while meeting graduate requirements for many disciplines. Check out
  • Center for Economic Research: Endow a new center to support economic research provided by faculty to the City of Long Beach and to private entities. This center will also allow students to take part in practical research while developing ties to public and private industries that yield job opportunities. Check out
  • Field School and Study Abroad: Provide students with real-world experiences abroad through field work for anthropology students and other international internships. Expanded support of these programs will make them more accessible to our diverse student body.
  • Global Studies Institute: Support the expansion of the Global Studies Institute by supplying funding for faculty to organize efforts that cultivate global thinking and action on and off campus. The institute supports international internships, brings diplomats and ambassadors to campus for visiting fellowships, hosts an annual lecture focusing on international and humanitarian issues, and cultivates virtual partnerships between Cal State Long Beach students and international students around the world. Check out
  • Center for Social Justice: Endow a new center that engages in social justice research and community action. This center will supply resources for faculty and students to conduct and publish research related to issues such as health disparities and equity in education and public policy. It will also help offer solutions for regional and state governments and work to create a more just and fair society.
  • Lab and Classroom Support: Provide support to ensure that the thousands of students in the college’s departments and programs learn and train on the latest technology and laboratory equipment — from language labs to the Global Information System to air traffic control technology.
  • Scholarship Support: Create and endow scholarships that increase access, provide opportunities, and allow students to focus, embrace and thrive in their academic careers.


Additional investment opportunities are available. To start a discussion, please contact Howie Fitzgerald, Director of Development at or (562)985-1619.