Campus: SAN BERNARDINO -- August 9, 2006

CSUSB Transportation Center Renamed To Honor Long-Time Supporters

Cal State San Bernardino's new university transportation center will be named in honor of William "Bill" E. and Barbara "Bobbie" Leonard for the couple's long-time support of the university as well as the couple's commitment to education and to transportation issues.

The honor came Tuesday, July 18, after the California State University Board of Trustees unanimously approved a request by Cal State San Bernardino officials, who cited the Leonards' long-time commitment to CSUSB and a planned gift of $2.1 million to support the activities of the federally designated university transportation center.

"Our campus is extremely fortunate to have Bill and Bobbie Leonard as outstanding friends and supporters," said Cal State San Bernardino President Albert Karnig. "Long before our campus was even built, they saw the potential that our university could bring to the region and have remained loyal and generous friends to the campus for more than 40 years."

Bill Leonard was involved in the early negotiations that led to the university being located in north San Bernardino. In the early 1960s, Leonard was a founding director of Inland Action Inc., a group of local business, government and education leaders, of which Cal State San Bernardino is an active participant.

The Leonards' contribution will promote research on transportation issues and sharpen the focus on policies and practices that impact the efficient and effective movement of people and goods through and to the Inland Empire. It also will help uncover intermodal opportunities and transportation security issues.

Cal State San Bernardino received federal funding last year to establish and operate the transportation center.

The Leonards, who have been staunch supporters of scholarships, direct a program through the First Presbyterian Church in San Bernardino, where they are members. More than $100,000 in scholarships has been awarded, much of it to Cal State San Bernardino.

Bill Leonard was honored in 1999 with the Arrowhead Distinguished Chief Executive Officer Award by the university's College of Business and Public Administration. An investment and business consultant, Leonard has been active with the Inland Valley Development Authority's work to convert the former Norton Air Force Base to a technology park and other private uses.

Earlier in his career, Leonard was a real estate developer. His company subdivided land for development, rehabilitated houses, built seven parking lots in downtown San Bernardino and more than 50 units in apartment complexes. He also built the public golf course on South Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino.

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Leonard has also had a profound effect on transportation issues in the region. He served on the High Speed Rail Authority and served as a member and chairman of both the California Transportation Commission and the California Highway Commission and held another gubernatorial appointment to the State Athletic Commission. His service to the state was acknowledged when the interchange of State Route 210 and Interstate 15 was named the William E. Leonard Interchange.

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