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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

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Qualcomm Foundation Gift Honors SDSU Alumnus

In recognition of Raymond V. Dittamore, the endowment will support students in the Lamden School of Accountancy.
By Coleen L. Geraghty

“The education and guidance I received from my professors at SDSU played a key role in preparing me for a career in the business world.”

In recognition of Raymond V. Dittamore’s 15 years of service on the Qualcomm Incorporated Board of Directors, the Qualcomm Foundation has established the Dittamore/Qualcomm Foundation Endowed Scholarship in Accountancy at San Diego State University.

The $500,000 gift is the largest endowed scholarship designated exclusively for students in SDSU’s Lamden School of Accountancy, and will match funds from Ron and Alexis Fowler’s $25 million challenge gift, announced last October. It will endow scholarships for high-achieving accounting majors from diverse backgrounds, including student-veterans.

“Ray served on the Board of Qualcomm Incorporated from 2002 to 2017 and was chair of the Audit Committee during a time of rapid growth globally for the company, while establishing a reputation for world-class financial discipline and transparency,” said George Davis, chief financial officer for Qualcomm. “We are deeply grateful for Ray’s many contributions.”

From engineering to accounting

A San Diego native, Dittamore was the first in his family to earn a university degree. He enrolled at SDSU intending to major in engineering, but switched to accounting and graduated in 1966. Vern Odmark, a legendary accounting professor and chair of the department, was a seminal influence on the young man.

“He made the subject come alive for me,” Dittamore recalled. “When you find something that you really enjoy and relate to, it’s not work, it’s fun. I enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of accounting.”

Dittamore worked to pay for his education and also held several coveted internships, one with Pacific Bell and another with the IRS. A top student, he passed the CPA exam before graduation.

“The education and guidance I received from my professors at SDSU played a key role in preparing me for a career in the business world,” said Dittamore. “I am very fortunate to have attended this great institution, and it's an honor and privilege that through Qualcomm's generosity we are able to establish this endowed scholarship for the Lamden School of Accountancy.”

Strong ties with SDSU

Dittamore maintained close ties with SDSU throughout a 35-year career with Ernst & Young and his subsequent tenure as board member for Qualcomm Incorporated, Life Technologies Corp., Gen-Probe Inc. and others.

He was a member of the SDSU Alumni Association board and the dean’s advisory board for the Fowler College of Business, which awarded him a Monty for Outstanding Achievement in 1997. Dittamore has also been a generous donor to the Fowler College of Business.

“Ray has been a financial leader in our community and abroad for 40 years,” said Mary Ruth Carleton, vice president for University Relations and Development at SDSU. “We are grateful to the Qualcomm Foundation for their gift, and we join them in saluting Ray’s outstanding service. This endowment will transform the lives of generations of future accountants.”