Computer Information Systems

The CIS Wagner Endowment

About the Wagner Endowment

In keeping with Cal Poly’s core value of ‘learn by doing’, the Wagner Endowment was established by alumni to honor founding chair of the CIS department, Gerald E. Wagner. 

Dr. Wagner created a CIS program that was revolutionary in bringing the power of technology to the business school.  His leadership and values of hard work, solution seeking and learn-by-doing exemplify the CIS program today.  Funding from the endowment helps the CIS department promote these values through classroom and extracurricular activities.

The endowment awards annual scholarships to students who demonstrate academic excellence and promote the values of leadership and learning in the CIS department.  The endowment also supports projects and events that broaden educational experiences for students in classrooms, labs, student events and undergraduate research.

About Gerald E. Wagner and the Wagner Endowment.

Wagner Funded Projects

Faculty and Student Research Projects

Ashish Hingle

Wagner fund has recently started to support research collaborations among faculty and students working on varies IS research topics, including Online Startup and Web analytics. CIS and Kellogg Honor student, Ashish Hingle, worked on the UX design trend of content-rich websites like CNN and Huffington Post with his mentor Dr. Sonya Zhang. He presented the pilot study findings at the Cal Poly Undergrad Student Research conference in March 2015.

Annual Scholarships


Each year, one or two scholarships are awarded to CIS students that demonstrate academic excellence, leadership and a committment to learning and applying information technology.  Scholarships help recognize a few of the great students that CIS is known for.

"The Wagner fund embodies a heritage of success and esteem for the CIS department, and for that I am proud to be its recipient.  This honor, along with the comprehensive support system provided by faculty and staff, gives me the edge I need to excel in my professional career."
~ Kevin Ferris, 2014 Wagner Scholarship Awardee, CIS 3rd Year


Wagner funding supports hands-on curriculum.  Over the past 5 years, Wagner funding has bought equipment for the Telecommunications laboratory and supported hands-on forensics education with the purchased ENCASE.  Technology changes continually, so the funding was instrumental in helping students learn current skills for industry.  ENCASE and the Telecom Lab are used by courses, student clubs and teams.  Over 700 CIS students have benefited from this funding.


The Wagner fund has supported many events that enrich student experiences in and out of the classroom.  Funding from Wagner made opportunities for students and CIS faculty to travel to technology events, supported camps for cyber security and paid for industry speakers to visit campus.

Conference Travel -2013/14 Students attended the Wireless Telecommunications Symposium in Arizona.

Camps & Competitions -2010/11 California Cyber Challenge was held on campus from July 19th-23rd. 2011/12 Information Technology Competition.  2011/12 Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

Industry Speakers -2009/10 Government and Industry speakers came to campus to speak about Cyber Security.

Field Trips -2009/10 Students visited Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Symantec.