Professor Lyman Chaffee

Professor Lyman Chaffee

A recently deceased professor gifted $1.73 million to California State University Dominquez Hills, the school’s largest-ever faculty member gift.

The legacy gift from the late Lyman Chaffee, professor emeritus of political science, who died April 27 at the age of 79, will establish the first endowed chair position at the university, in global and comparative politics.

Chaffee’s gift also specifies $100,000 to endow a scholarship for political science majors to study abroad and another $100,000 towards the university’s general endowment for study abroad scholarships.

“This gift is a testament to…the commitment our faculty and staff have to our mission and the students we serve, and is a selfless expression of what it means to be a Toro,” Willie Hagan, the retiring president of Cal State Dominguez Hills, said in a statement. “Many of our alumni can attest to the zeal and passion Dr. Chaffee displayed each day, as will many of our students value his kindness and generosity for years to come.”

Chaffee, who was a resident of Hermosa Beach, joined the university’s political science department in 1969 and retired in 2005. During that time, he visited more than 70 countries and shared his love of travel with his students. He served both as department chair and as director of the university’s international programs for several years. He also received the university’s Outstanding Professor Award for his commitment to students.

Economy, education, energy and transportation reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.