Supporting Students While Honoring an Entrepreneurial Spirit

Jan, 2024
A photo of Jim Yates and Jaime Lancaster

If you mentioned a business idea to entrepreneur and businessman Jim Yates, he would’ve immediately provided you with a detailed plan on how to turn that idea into a reality.

To memorialize Jim and help Cal Poly Humboldt students interested in entrepreneurship with tuition costs, Jim’s daughter Jaime Lancaster (‘03, Business Administration), now a faculty member in the School of Business, created the Jim Yates Business Endowed Fund with a gift of $37,500.

“My dad got so much satisfaction from running a business. He thrived in the face of challenges and loved having the opportunity to employ people in his community. I want to honor his memory by supporting students who also want to create and grow a business,” Jaime says. “College is costly, and many students need financial aid. This scholarship provides extra help.”

Jaime arrived at Humboldt after completing her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Once she began the Masters of Business Administration program at Humboldt, she says she had a new lens to look at the world.

After receiving her MBA in 2003, Jaime joined the School of Business as an assistant professor teaching undergraduate and graduate students. Her favorite part of being a student at the School of Business was the connections and networks she made with faculty and other students in the department, something that hasn’t changed since she became a professor.

“Working with students and seeing their thought processes unfold has been one of the better parts of teaching them. Each student’s path to learning is different,” Jaime says. “It’s a small program, but we have great connections.”

The Jim Yates Business Endowed Fund will provide a $1,000 scholarship annually. The scholarships will support students majoring in Business, preferably with a concentration in management or entrepreneurship, or a student with an interest in entrepreneurship (as evidenced by participation in activities like Humboldt’s Business Concept Contest and Startup Weekend).

Jaime’s endowed fund will ensure her gift continues to strengthen education for future generations of students at Cal Poly Humboldt.

“I have so many students who can’t pay for college. I want to share the wealth and privilege I was afforded to make reaching their goals easier. It takes a lot of effort to reach your dreams, and if this makes it easier for one of our students to make their dreams come true, I’m all for it,” Jaime says.

With a gift totaling $25,000 or more, you too can establish a permanent endowed fund to support students and allow the University to plan for the future. When establishing the endowment, you can designate the annual distribution to fund a scholarship, support an award or assistantship, or strengthen a department or program. Jaime's generous gift is a perfect example of how the Humboldt community is boldly rising. You can contribute to the Boldly Rising campaign to help expand access and create new opportunities for Humboldt. To make a gift or learn more, please contact the Cal Poly Humboldt Foundation at or call (707) 826-5200.

Photo: Jaime Lancaster is honoring her father's entrepreneurial spirit by creating a scholarship endowment for students interested in entrepreneurship.