Landmark $1.25 Million Gift Supports First Ever Thrive Center Program to Benefit the Future of Santa Ana College Students

Allan Fainbarg

August 2, 2021

Fainbarg and Chase Family Sets New Stage of Philanthropy

(Santa Ana, CA) – The Santa Ana College Foundation announces the commitment of a $1.25 million gift from the community-based and dedicated family of Allan and Sandy Fainbarg. This generous and transformative gift becomes the largest private donation in the history of Santa Ana College (SAC) and sets the stage for future philanthropy at the beloved institution, which just celebrated 115 years of educational service to the community last year.

“This humble and community-focused family has consistently lifted up our students for the past several decades, and their drive to do more is truly inspiring,”

said Dr. Marilyn Flores, Interim President, Santa Ana College. Sandy Fainbarg and her late husband SAC Alumni and Hall of Famer Allan Fainbarg have dedicated much of their time and philanthropy towards the passion and core beliefs that they have regarding critical issues such as housing insecurity, hunger, mental health, and supporting other basic needs that every human deserves. Allan always felt that SAC gave him a place to start the next important chapter of his life and felt a deep connection to his alma mater. It was this connection that began a lifelong love of giving to SAC students and back to the College that meant so much to him.

Allan Fainbarg
The late Allan Fainbarg in his office in 2015.

The Santa Ana College Foundation has been a long-time recipient of the family’s generosity and to-date this gift is the culmination of over $2 million of committed investment from the family. “We could not be more excited about the purpose of this gift and the ways in which it will respond to those cornerstone needs that often stop Santa Ana College students from thriving, completing their academic goals, and moving into their careers. My family and I are so passionate about helping students reach their educational and career goals. To know we are a part of a partnership that is building a comprehensive program to address these real needs is humbling. That is what will make our communities brighter and stronger,” says Nancy Chase.

“The significance of this landmark gift and impact that the Fainbarg and Chase family has had on our College is truly emotionally touching and inspiring,” expressed Christina Romero M.A., SAC Executive Director of College Advancement. “The magic and power of this generous donation started with Allan Fainbarg and the legacy he chose to leave with so much passion for helping ALL students succeed; and that is exactly what this gift will do. I am so grateful and pleased to be able to continue our work together for students with Sandy, Nancy, Irv, Steven, Ryan, Brooke, Catie and their entire family.”

Nancy Chase
Nancy Chase, Sandy Fainbarg, and SAC Alumna Toni Delgado who was a recipient of the Allan and Sandy Fainbarg Scholarship.

Romero exemplifies the powerful relationship that the Fainbarg and Chase family has established with SAC throughout the years. She firmly believes that alumni are an important factor in community college giving and attributes investments like these to authentic connections and open communication with donors, while embracing shared values and a vision to provide students with genuine support and much-needed monetary aid.

“This gift will go a long way to help our students receive the support they need to complete their
educational journeys,”

said SAC Foundation Board President Rossina Gallegos. “On behalf of our entire SAC Foundation Board of Directors, I want to sincerely thank the Fainbarg and Chase family for their donation and partnership with the College.”

The historic $1.25 million gift was made at a critical juncture during a pandemic that continues to wreak havoc on many hard-working students enduring heart-breaking and life-changing moments as they continue to stay focused on their studies. To respond to those student needs at the highest level, Santa Ana College created the Thrive Center Program, that will respond to gaps in the lives of students who have been struggling through their academic journey for decades. The pandemic accelerated the plans that the College had for this innovative program and through this significant investment from the Fainbarg and Chase family, the Thrive Center Program will have the partnership resources needed to succeed.

Students who are prone to, or find themselves in, challenging situations are at risk of being left behind and not being able to provide for themselves or their families. This gift will also allow for thousands of dollars of support annually in direct student aid through the endowed Allan Fainbarg Urgent Action Fund. “No student who is willing to work hard in order to take their career, family and future to the next level should be denied the opportunity to do so,” states Romero. With this funding, many hard-working, high-risk students across the campus will be able to access these critical resources. Those students that are at risk for housing and food insecurity and are lacking access to other social services programming will be able to get connected to the very personal and direct aid that will allow them to overcome some of these challenges. Some of the student groups that will benefit from these services are students faced with homelessness, single parents, veterans, undocumented students, students with disabilities, student athletes, foster youth, and low-income students. SAC students will be able to stay more focused on their studies by seeking the very resources at The Thrive Center that typically distract them from their goals.

This gift is also the largest gift made to date as part of the SAC Foundation’s current Raising the Game comprehensive campaign, a strategic campaign to support SAC students and programming at the highest level. This campaign has already gained tremendous traction thanks to the Fainbarg and Chase family and other generous donors and supporters of the college. For information on how to get involved in the Raising the Game Campaign and to become a Game Changer, please visit or call (714) 564-6095.

Media Contacts: Christina Romero (714) 564-6091 or Dalilah Davaloz (714) 564-5527

About Santa Ana College

Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.