The annual gala at California State University San Marcos last month raised $162,000, nearly two-thirds more than the prior year, the university reported Wednesday.

The newly opened University Student Union ballroom was transformed into 1940s Morocco for the gala, with decorations inspired by the film “Casablanca” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Many of the approximately 350 guests got into the spirit of the event, wearing glamorous costumes and attire from the era.

The event on June 21, emceed by Channel 8 News Anchorwoman Barbara-Lee Edwards, benefited student scholarships as well as innovative research, student programming and the professional development of faculty.

“Across the board, from our faculty to our students and staff, CSUSM has the talent, the leadership, the capacity and the determination to persist in being the public university that others look to for how to adapt and stay ahead of change,” said Cal State San Marcos President Karen Haynes in her remarks.

“And though Hollywood may already have seen its Golden Age, ours is yet to come. We are the driving economic and intellectual engine of our region, and I am proud to lead a university that’s so committed to its community and its students.”

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.