Arizona State University, Desert Financial Credit Union announce new partnership

Agreement includes naming rights, educational support for employees, and marketing services.

PHOENIX, AZ (October 14, 2019) — Arizona State University today announced a multi-faceted partnership with Desert Financial, Arizona’s largest locally-based credit union, which was founded in 1939 by 15 teachers. The agreement will result in the re-naming of the University Activities Center, the arena that is currently home to men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball, and includes the development of continuing education opportunities for credit union members and employees.

The terms of the 5-year agreement include an investment of $1.5 million per year from Desert Financial Credit Union to Arizona State University. Details of the continuing education certificate and degree programs are still in design and an announcement on how employees and credit unions members will access it are forthcoming.  The agreement also includes a marketing and market analysis services partnership with Desert Financial and internships at the Phoenix-based credit union for ASU students.

“Desert Financial is committed to communities throughout Arizona, as we are, and especially focused on education,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “These shared values form the foundation of a very strong relationship and represent a partnership based on much more than naming an arena.”

For Desert Financial, the largest credit union based in Arizona, the agreement represents a chance to build a stronger relationship with the state’s largest higher education provider, while creating new opportunities for personal and professional growth for the credit union’s members and employees.

“Desert Financial Credit Union’s connection to education comes from our founders; a group of Valley teachers who started with just $78.75 between them. They created an institution that would be of service to educators and students alike,” said President & CEO Jeff Meshey.  “We carry that legacy with us today because we believe strong communities are built by citizens who have received a good education. Our relationship with ASU will strengthen that commitment and be an asset to our employees and our members.”

Arizona State University, in following the eight design aspirations of the ASU Charter, continues to look for ways to improve access and impact for people who want to continue their education and for employers who are seeking talent for their organizations.

“We are entrepreneurial in much of what we do, so we appreciate the financial benefits that come from naming rights,” said Crow. “However, our call is to be socially embedded and to connect with the community through mutually beneficial partnerships. The agreement with Desert Financial represents the kind of relationships we are seeking at all levels, partnerships fueled by a common interest.”

That relationship begins today. The new arena signs will go up in time for basketball season, which begins on November 5 when the ASU Women’s team tips off.

About Desert Financial Credit Union

Celebrating more than 84 years in Arizona, Desert Financial is the state's most trusted local credit union with over $8 billion in assets, 400,000+ members and 45 branches. Membership eligibility is open across Arizona with contactless solutions making it easy to click, call or come in. As a not-for-profit cooperative, Desert Financial takes pride in sharing success. In 2023, members received $16 million in dividends via the Member Giveback Bonus, and the credit union became the official retail banking partner of Arizona State University. Federally insured by NCUA. Learn more at

About ASU

Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.


Keller Perry
Public Relations Specialist
cell. 480.406.5498

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