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Monday, November 28, 2022

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SDSU dedicated its newly renamed Lamden Hall in a ceremony Wednesday. From left, family members Randy Corby, Carol Lamden-Corby, Bill Lamden and Evelyn Lamden. (Photo: Carol Sonstein) SDSU dedicated its newly renamed Lamden Hall in a ceremony Wednesday. From left, family members Randy Corby, Carol Lamden-Corby, Bill Lamden and Evelyn Lamden. (Photo: Carol Sonstein)

Dedication of Lamden Hall Honors Lasting Legacy

Charles W. Lamden helped establish the university’s school of business and an acclaimed accounting program.
By Jeff Ristine

Lamden Hall, the newly renamed home of San Diego State University’s Fowler College of Business and College of Education, was the site of a special evening of celebration. On Wednesday, the university paid tribute to the Lamden family and the continuing legacy of their support for students and faculty in the accounting profession.
Formerly the Education and Business Administration building, the four-story structure received its new identity in September. The renaming honors Charles W. Lamden, former chair of the accountancy department and dean of the School of Business Administration from 1954 to 1965, and his wife, Gertrude “Trudy” Lamden, a philanthropic supporter.
Faculty members and former students and colleagues of Charles Lamden were among the attendees at the all-university and community dedication, held just outside the north entrance to the building bearing the new name and a string of turquoise, green and white balloons.

A gift to SDSU from Trudy Lamden in June 2008 led to the naming of the School of Accountancy in memory of Charles Lamden, who died in 1992.  

“We are grateful to Charles and Trudy for the legacy they left to the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy, the Fowler College of Business and San Diego State University,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. “Their story, their successes, and their commitment to the profession and to accounting education is something that many accounting students and professionals strive to emulate to this day.

“We are also grateful to the Lamden family for continuing their parents’ legacy of philanthropy and for their continued support,” de la Torre added.

Charles Lamden is regarded as a driving force in the creation of the university’s original College of Business Administration. He taught at SDSUfrom 1946 to 1965 and, following a leave of absence to work in the private sector both in France and New York City, from 1977 to 1991, when he retired.

Trudy Lamden, who took classes in accounting at what was then San Diego State College prior to a successful career in the field, died in 2010.

A former director of the accountancy program and a friend of the couple, Sharon Lightner, said the support came at a time when the school needed to recruit and retain top faculty “and continue the school’s trajectory of success.”

She said she had hoped to receive a donation that would honor “the one person who possessed all of the characteristics that we wanted our students to acquire: impeccable integrity, professional wisdom at the highest level, an international perspective and a collaborative spirit.”

The former professor “set the bar high for all of us,” she said.

The $10 million endowment from Trudy Lamden was the first-ever naming gift for an academic unit at SDSU, Lightner noted, and the largest single gift received up to that time.

The Lamdens’ two children, Bill Lamden (’66) and Carol Lamden-Corby, their spouses and additional members of the family led a symbolic ribbon-cutting.

They attributed their parents’ success to a combination of self-determination and vision and said they worked toward their goals as a team.

Bill Lamden said his father believed the quality of education received at what was then San Diego State College “should be paramount not only in the State of California but nationally as well.”

And Carol Lamden-Corby said her mother was a pragmatist who “took business concepts taught in the classroom and put them to use in the real world,” most notably through investments in property.

George (Joe) Belch, interim Thomas & Evelyn Page Dean of the Fowler College of Business, said the family’s support helped build “one of the top accounting programs in the nation.”

“I think Charles and Trudy Lamden would be very proud of the Lamden School of Accountancy,” Belch said, “and I want to acknowledge the tremendous impact their gift has had on the accounting department as well as the Fowler College of Business.”

And California State University trustee Adam Day praised Charles Lamden as instrumental in achieving crucial accreditation for both the school and the accountancy program.