Camarillo, Calif., Feb. 20, 2012 – When CSU Channel Islands (CI) students hold their inaugural Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society on March 2 and 3, it will be dedicated to the memory of a beloved founding CI faculty member. Dr. Stephen Lefevre, a political science professor and Associate Vice President of Academic Programs & Planning, died of cancer in September at the age of 67.

Lefevre’s wife and family will participate in and speak at the Relay as part of “Team Steve,” joined and cheered on by dozens of his former students and colleagues.

“Dr. Lefevre was a pioneer on our campus who helped build CI into the close, collegial community it is today,” said Veronica Palafox, a CI senior who co-chairs the event. “He touched so many lives here and that’s been obvious in the overwhelming support we’ve seen for Relay for Life from the campus community.”

Previously, CI participated in the relay at Camarillo High School, but this year a record number of enthusiastic participants enabled CI to hold its first on-campus event.

Students also are staging the fundraiser as a friendly competition with California Lutheran University (CLU) to see who can raise the most money to support cancer patients. CLU will hold its Relay for Life the prior weekend, Feb. 25 and 26. So far, CI students are in the lead, having assembled more than 34 teams, 250 participants and more than $16,000, with an ultimate goal of raising $25,000 by March 2.

CI’s Relay for Life is a 24-hour, overnight walk/run team relay event, with people camping out around a track. The event opens at noon on Friday, March 2, on the South Quad, with cancer survivors taking the first lap around the track. A luminaria ceremony honoring those affected by cancer will be held at 7 p.m. Friday. The event ends with a closing ceremony at noon on Saturday, March 3. 

In addition to the relay, a number of family activities, including food, games, entertainment and vendors, are planned. Members of the public are encouraged to participate, donate or simply observe and enjoy this family event for a worthy cause.

For more information, contact Veronica Palafox or Jacklyn Simonson, Relay for Life co-chairs, at 805-437-2730 or via email at or

More information about CI’s Relay for Life and fundraising progress is available on Facebook at and through the American Cancer Society’s website at

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.