Creates a Lasting Legacy and Gives Back to Students

Q&A With Crystal Coleman

Crystal Coleman

Crystal Coleman

After receiving a master's degrees in business administration and accounting at Sacramento State. A principal with CliftonLarsonAllen, a top 10 national accounting firm, she was previously an adjunct faculty member with the College of Business Administration, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. Crystal has also served on the College of Business Administration Advisory Board and the board of University Enterprises, Inc. She established the Crystal Coleman Endowed Accounting Scholarship to support students majoring in accounting at Sac State and has planned a legacy gift to the scholarship in her trust.

As an alumna, what has Sacramento State meant to you?
Although I did not have my undergraduate college experience at Sacramento State, I feel a strong connection to the University, as it is where I started my professional business career. One of the benefits of Sacramento State for me personally was that I could work full time and attend classes in the evenings—its central location was beneficial and I spent many weekday evenings on campus attending class or meeting with fellow students on group projects. After graduation, I continued to seek out opportunities to remain connected with the campus—teaching, volunteering and serving on boards. In short, Sac State has been part of my life since 1993—over 25 years!

What inspired you to create a scholarship for our students?
I love to learn and have never stopped learning since I graduated from Sacramento State. (As I write this, I am studying for a professional exam.) While I was an adjunct faculty member, I saw firsthand that many undergraduate students work part time or full time to put themselves through college and any additional source of funds (even if only a few hundred dollars to cover books and supplies) would make an impact. Creating this scholarship keeps me connected to Sacramento State and also makes a difference in the lives of the students. By funding an endowment that will generate an annual scholarship into perpetuity, I can keep my commitment to both Sacramento State and College of Business Administration students to have those scholarship funds in place every academic year.

Why did you decide to make a gift to Sac State in your will and trust?
Including Sac State in my will and trust made sense as it gives back to the organization that provided me so many benefits and opportunities over my business career. My legacy gift will be an expansion of the current endowment to provide a higher amount of scholarship funds to deserving students. Knowing that resources I was fortunate enough to accumulate over my career will positively impact others long after I am gone is a wonderful feeling.

What might you say to someone considering making a gift through their estate plan?
I think we all strive to leave the world a better place, and making a gift through your estate plan is a wonderful way of leaving a legacy and a reflection of what is important to you. For me, that is education—I was the second person in my extended family to earn a college degree and the first ever to earn a graduate-level degree. Personally, I feel that providing for family and close friends is important, but I think the long-term impact of estate gifts to organizations such as Sac State can result in more far-reaching results. (Family doesn't always do the best things with inheritance money!)

If you could tell people just one thing about Sac State, what would it be?
Sac State is more than just a university—it is a place where there is a strong sense of community, much of this stemming from the fact that the greater Sacramento community is literally wrapped around the University. In my opinion, the statistic that speaks volumes about Sac State is the number of graduates that remain in the community after graduation—they begin their careers here and build their lives here. I think that is something really special—I am not only giving funds to Sac State but investing in the Sacramento community long-term.

Supporting Sac State through your estate plan can be easier than you think. To learn more, contact Lora L. Hollingsworth at (916) 278-6115 or