If there was one word that Dr. Anthony Donaldson said he could use to describe his experience serving at California Baptist University, it would be “exciting.”
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Donaldson, professor and dean of the College of Engineering, earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in electrical engineering at Texas Tech University.
He also earned a master’s degree in missions and evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.
“What gets me up in the morning is that I get to be a part of leading a team of quality individuals who are dedicated to outstanding engineering teaching and helping students find their purpose,” Donaldson said.
From 1998 to 2006, Donaldson was director of the engineering program at Seattle Pacific University.
One day, he received a call from a search recruiter informing him of a position for someone to start an engineering program at CBU.
Donaldson met the team, went through an interview and said he fell in love with the mission of the university.
“I was humbled by the fact they had been searching and praying to start a school of engineering and praying for someone to lead for four to five years before I got here,” Donaldson said. “It was neat to know that prayer was behind their search for that long.”
When he was hired in the summer of 2006, Donaldson’s goal that first year was to recruit students, write a curriculum to give to the curriculum committee and connect with partners in the area.
CBU’s first engineering classes began the fall of 2007.
“At the end of that first year, we launched four of our now eight degree programs,” Donaldson said.
Donaldson explained he did not expect the program to start out with 53 students. He had the program set up the space by planning to have 36 regular seats and 21 lab seats to see how many students would show up.
However, there was a mistake made in the furniture order. On the first day of classes, the program had 32 chairs and 21 lab seats.
“I walked into class with 53 students and every seat was filled,” Donaldson said. “We have been building ever since.”
Lauren Rither, junior civil engineering major, commended Donaldson for doing a great job running the College of Engineering. Rither continued on to say that Donaldson is always looking for ways to improve.
“The dean is someone who truly cares about each individual student,” Rither said. “He listens to the concerns of the students and puts a lot of effort into investing in their futures.”
Joshua Dicus, junior mechanical engineering major, described Donaldson as hardworking and connected, which he said is important for the engineering program.
“He does a great job of getting CBU’s name out there,” Dicus said. “He’s really active in connecting with different companies to get jobs for engineering students- like summer internships- and also jobs right when we graduate.”
Donaldson said his favorite part about serving at CBU is providing opportunities for young people to capture a vision of what they can do with their lives to glorify God, as well as working in an environment with talented people.
“He is extremely supportive of the College of Engineering and is behind it 100 percent and is always looking for ways to further benefit its students and faculty,” Rither said.