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Mickey and Lee Segal Pledge $2 Million to Cal Poly Pomona
Businessman and philanthropist Mickey Segal and his wife, Lee, have pledged $2 million to Cal Poly Pomona, their alma mater.
"I have this bell in my head. It says, 'You know you have been extremely successful and if you want to stay successful, it's your obligation to give back.' That bell keeps me driven and motivated," Segal says.
Segal’s ties with the university run deep: 1980 cum laude graduate, member of the Accounting Hall of Fame, 1998 Distinguished Alumnus, member of the University Educational Trust and the National Development Council, vice chair of planned giving for the upcoming comprehensive campaign and major donor to the new College of Business Administration complex.
Cal Poly Pomona has played an even more significant role in his personal life: It’s where he became reacquainted with Lee, a childhood friend.
“Our parents set us up,” Lee Segal says, recalling her transfer from San Diego State. “I didn’t know Mickey was at Cal Poly Pomona, but when I arrived he was kind enough to show me around campus.”
Lee, who also graduated in 1980, studied foods and nutrition, “a major that was right up my alley because I’ve always been science oriented.”
It was a busy time for both – a full class load, work and other responsibilities – but, she says, “we made the relationship work” and got married soon after graduation.
Mickey Segal says the experiences he gained during his time at Cal Poly Pomona proved invaluable in launching his career, including work at a firm that served entertainment clients. From there, he co-founded Nigro, Karlin & Segal, a Los Angeles-based CPA firm also rooted in the entertainment industry. He is now managing partner at Nigro, Karlin, Segal & Feldstein, LLP, a certified public accounting firm based in Century City.
“My education at Cal Poly Pomona was crucial to my success in my business,” Segal says. “The hands-on experience and internships that I participated in put me well ahead of the competition after graduation.”
Community involvement and philanthropic endeavors are a big part of Segal’s life. He is in his third term as a member of the Arcadia City Council, where he has twice served as mayor. Several organizations have benefited from his fundraising expertise, including Arcadia Methodist Hospital, Covenant House and the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys.
“Mickey and Lee Segal are longtime friends not only of Cal Poly Pomona, but of the many groups they have generously aided over the years,” says university President Michael Ortiz. “They share their time and talents to better the community.”
The pledge to Cal Poly Pomona is directed toward the College of Business Administration and The Collins College of Hospitality Management.
“Mickey and Lee Segal’s gift will be transformational for the College of Business Administration as it will allow us to further expand student horizons and provide them with the skills, confidence and experiences necessary to shine as tomorrow’s business leaders,” says Richard Lapidus, the college dean. “We are greatly appreciative for all that the Segals do both financially and through the generosity of their time. They continue to make Cal Poly Pomona a better place.”
Andy Feinstein, dean of The Collins College of Hospitality Management, agrees.
“Mickey and Lee Segal are Broncos through and through,” he says. “I am very grateful for their gift and the legacy that it will create.”