SAN MARCOS (CNS) - Cal State San Marcos announced Monday the 25-year-old university is more than halfway toward a $50 million goal in its first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Donors gave more than $26 million during a "quiet" phase of fundraising, according to school officials, who held an on-campus launch event for the public portion Sunday with around 200 key donors, community leaders, alumni, students, faculty and staff.

"Today, it's time to take our efforts to the next level through our first major philanthropic campaign," CSUSM President Karen Haynes said. "No other university in the CSU system, and likely in the nation, has attempted a comprehensive fundraising campaign at our age. Our goal is audaciously bold, 
but it befits our audaciously bold aspirations."

Funds raised will support students, community engagement initiatives, research and other programs.

The campaign is dubbed "Forward Together: The Campaign for California State University San Marcos," a tribute to community support from the time the campus was built.

"Like our university, this campaign will succeed because of the collective contributions of countless individuals," Haynes said. "It starts here and it starts now. Working together, we are capable of incredible 

CSUSM's goal is to earmark $25 million for scholarships and support for veterans, former foster youth and other at-risk groups; $20 million for academic programs, research and faculty development, and $5 million for outreach, arts and culture, and athletics.

Philanthropist Darlene Shiley gave $3 million for the CSU Institute for Palliative Care, located at CSUSM since 2012.

Two $1 million gifts were received. Esther and Jan Stearns donated to a program that supports former foster youth, and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians' donation will fund programs that research and save California Indian heritage.