A Thousand Oaks resident who donated $4.8 million for a building at the California Lutheran University School of Management has decided to redirect the money to help support students and entrepreneurship.

Steven Dorfman originally pledged the money to fund construction at the School of Management, but developed a new agreement with Lori Varlotta, the recently appointed president of the Thousand Oaks school.


Dorfman, who serves on the School of Management Advisory Council, directed that $1.2 million be used to fund renewable scholarships covering 75 percent to 100 percent of tuition to students in the School of Management interested in entrepreneurship and innovation.


The remaining $3.6 million will be used to provide grants to promising startups involving Cal Lutheran students or alumni, support activities such as the New Venture Competition and startup weekends and create an endowed professor of practice in entrepreneurship.


“Repurposing a capital gift in a way that supports the School of Management and its students is consistent with my original goal,” Dorfman said in a statement. “Plus, it is quite satisfying to be able to make a campus-wide impact and directly assist students given the current hardships that the pandemic has created.”


Dorfman served as an executive of Hughes Space and Communications Co., Hughes Telecommunications and Space, and Hughes Communications. He has served on the boards of Hughes, Raytheon and other companies.


Varlotta said that Dorfman’s flexibility with his gift is what universities are hoping their donors will demonstrate.


“It has been a pleasure to work with Steve during my first 100 days as president at Cal Lutheran to reconfigure a gift of this size in ways that meet donor expectations and benefit the School of Management and its students,” she said in a statement.