Campus: STANISLAUS -- December 21, 2006

CSU Stanislaus Receives $2 Million Cash Gift From The Hashem Naraghi Trust

The Hashem Naraghi Trust has generously donated $2 million to California State University, Stanislaus. In Nora and Hashem Naraghi's honor, the new science facility will be named the Nora & Hashem Naraghi Hall of Science.

The CSU Stanislaus science building will be a state-of-the-art, three-story 110,000 square-foot facility including new laboratories, classrooms, offices, and an observatory, serving the Biology, Chemistry, and Physics/Geology Departments. It is scheduled for completion by fall 2007.

Wendell Naraghi, Sharon Naraghi, and Margaret Naraghi-Quattrin, the late Naraghi's children, all acknowledged, "Our dad welcomed Dr. Shirvani as the new leader of CSU Stanislaus. He was excited about his vision and rapid advancement of the University. The gift symbolizes his vote of confidence that under Dr. Shirvani's leadership, the science building will become a distinctive and nationally recognized Science Center, on the cutting-edge of important research and educational initiatives."

Nora Naraghi passed away in 2003 and her husband, Hashem, passed in early 2006. Shortly before his passing, Naraghi pledged to provide a $2 million gift to California State University, Stanislaus.

"I am very moved by the late Mr. Hashem Naraghi's magnificent gift and his confidence in me as it reflects the tireless commitment of the Naraghis as ambassadors of the University and its major contributions to the educational and economic vitality of the San Joaquin Valley community," CSU Stanislaus President Ham Shirvani said.

The $2 million gift honors the life's work of Nora and Hashem Naraghi. Known for their significant contributions to agriculture, entrepreneurship, and real estate development, the Naraghis dedicated their lives to the Central Valley community.

Naraghi was one of the largest almond growers in the world, with a farming operation that spanned more than 20,000 acres in Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, and San Joaquin counties. He pioneered planting orchards in the uncultivated and arid areas of eastern Stanislaus County, land previously dismissed as infertile. He also patented drought-resistant almond trees and was the first farmer to plant almonds in the foothills proving the trees could thrive there.

Nora Naraghi was a published writer under the pen name Elba. The consummate family woman, she set aside her writing career to devote herself to her husband and children. Daughter Sharon Naraghi is a 1979 graduate of CSU Stanislaus, and grandson Hashem W. Naraghi is a 1994 graduate of the University.

Shirvani said, "We couldn't be happier to have such distinguished business leaders and outstanding citizens as Hashem and Nora Naraghi forever linked to our institution in such a monumental way. The Nora and Hashem Naraghi Hall of Science will stand as a symbol of the tremendous generosity these two extraordinary individuals have contributed to our community. The University is blessed to be the recipient of their philanthropic support."

Contact: Don Hansen, (209) 667-3997

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