Campus: FRESNO -- November 10, 2006

$1.5 million gift from Arnold and Dianne Gazarian endows Real Estate Center at Fresno State

California State University, Fresno announced today a gift to create a $1.5 million endowment which will be used to establish the Arnold and Dianne Gazarian Real Estate Center in the Craig School of Business.

Arnold Gazarian, a retired dentist, is an ardent supporter of education initiatives in the Central Valley and is a member of the California State University, Fresno Foundation Board of Governors. Dianne Gazarian serves as chair of the Berberian & Gazarian Family Foundation.

The Gazarians' generosity to Fresno State has included gifts to the President's Fund, Smittcamp Alumni House, the Haig and Isabel Berberian endowed chair in Armenian Studies, the Craig School of Business and the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.

"We recognize and truly appreciate the vital function Fresno State provides to the local community and to the Central Valley," said Arnold Gazarian. "We hope that this gift will assist the university in making it a leader in educating real estate professionals, conducting real-world research and promoting high ethical standards. We also hope that the center will bring together members of the real estate community to discuss issues of importance to the industry."

This gift enables Fresno State to create a center that will support the Craig School's Real Estate and Urban Land Economics option and major for students as well as the expansion of research by faculty and graduate students. The center will provide invaluable community service as it assesses trends in commercial retail, office, residential and investment markets; analyzes land use planning; and conducts research in such areas as single- and multi-family residential housing, commercial real estate and real estate financial assets. In addition, the Gazarian Center will sponsor conferences, seminars and workshops in real estate and land use.

"I am pleased that the Gazarian family recognizes the importance of marshaling the resources of the university and the region to study and address issues such as complex environmental impacts related to increased population growth," said Dr. John D. Welty, president of Fresno State, who will seek approval of the naming from the California State University trustees at their January meeting in Long Beach. "This generous gift will position the Gazarian Real Estate Center as an academic leader in real estate market analysis and research and will help to further the university's goal of helping the economy grow."

The Gazarian Real Estate Center will also provide students opportunities to learn the business side of real estate and apply their academic knowledge to real-world projects and experiences. The real estate business community will gain a valuable informational resource relating to the greater Fresno metropolitan area and Central Valley region, as well as access to student interns and potential future employees.

"Smart-growth planning strategies are critical for coping with the increasing challenges of accommodating and encouraging growth that improves quality of life while preserving the economic, natural, cultural and scenic resources of communities," said Dr. Douglas Hensler, dean of the Craig School of Business.

"Arnold and Dianne Gazarian share our cause of taking responsibility for the well-being of our community and training effective planning leaders for the future. We are thrilled that they have chosen to establish the Real Estate Center and we look forward to a long-term productive partnership with the Gazarian family in the cause of real estate and land use planning," Hensler said.

Recently named by The Princeton Review as one of the top 282 business schools in the nation, the Craig School of Business is one of the elite eight percent of business schools worldwide to achieve accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, International. The Craig School prepares students for careers in the regional, national and global business environments. The Real Estate and Urban Land Economics Option provides the background for a wide range of career opportunities in addition to residential and commercial real estate sales. These areas include development, lending, banking, appraising, escrow, property management and construction. For more information, visit http://www.craig.csufresno.edu/.

Contact: Shannon Puphal, Office of University Communications, 559.278.2756 office, spuphal@csufresno.edu


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