Campus: CSU, Bakersfield -- September 7, 1999

CSUB Launches Ambitious Fundraising Campaign

California State University, Bakersfield has launched the biggest and most ambitious fund-raising effort in the history of the university.

Called the Cornerstone Campaign for CSUB, the campaign seeks to raise $11 million to not only enhance the new Business Development Center, but also enhance learning opportunities for all CSUB students.

So far, said Michael Chertok, CSUB vice president for University Advancement, the campaign has raised more than $9 million from generous community members and corporate partners.

"Under the leadership of Greg Bynum and the campaign committee, we've had a wonderful response during the quiet phase of our campaign," Chertok said. "People in the community realize that for the university to provide a first-rate education we need to en

hance what the state provides. Those who help lay the foundation for the future can be assured that their investment will pay long-term community dividends. The money that people give to CSUB provides opportunities for not only students but also the community as a whole through the state-of-the-art facilities and expanded cultural and educational events."

Bynum, chairman of the Cornerstone Campaign executive committee and a CSUB alumnus, is excited about the success of the campaign thus far. "I feel fortunate that so many friends of the university are coming forward to help with this important effort," he said. "We want to make this a state-of-the-art complex that will not only enhance the learning for CSUB students, but also be a wonderful resource for area residents as well. I encourage everyone who is interested in making a gift and being part of this campaign to call me or the University Advancement division at CSUB. We need support from the entire community."

Joan Dezember, chair of the Cal State Bakersfield Foundation and a member of the Cornerstone Campaign executive committee, said the foundation is wholeheartedly behind the campaign.

"Cal State is such a wonderful resource for all of us in Kern County and the surrounding region, and this is a wonderful opportunity for people to come forward and help make a difference. The foundation board endorses the campaign, and pledges our support to make it a success."

The Cornerstone Campaign is targeting three areas for support:

  • Enhancement of the Business Development Center, and construction and equipping of the Leadership Development Center, the centerpiece of the campaign. That goal is $2.65 million.

  • Increasing the endowment for scholarships and other university programs. That goal is $3 million.

  • Increasing funding for those university programs that rely upon private funds. That goal is $5.35 million.

"We're delighted by the initial response to this campaign," CSUB President Tomas Arciniega said. "People recognize that an investment in CSUB is an investment in their future."

The Cornerstone Campaign coincides with the advent of CSUB's new Business Development Center, which will include the School of Business and Public Administration, the Extended University and the Leadership Development Center.

Voters approved funding for the School of Business and Public Administration portion of the center, the largest of the center's four buildings, when they passed Proposition 1A, the statewide bond issue, on the November 1998 general election ballot. The Legislature recently authorized the project, which will use $8.5 million in Proposition 1A bond funds.


The building for the School of Business and Public Administration will be the largest of the four buildings forming the Business Development Center, providing much needed classroom space in addition to faculty offices.

Technological advances in the workplace dictate training students on state-of-the-art equipment and in state-of-the-art settings, Arciniega said.

"We plan to enhance the building by expanding a 150-seat classroom to make it more like an auditorium" he said. "We will include better seating and the latest technology."

Private funds will be used to expand the classroom, changing the seating to elevated tiers and adding state-of-the-art information technology to make it a "smart classroom." Smart classrooms will have computer hookups at each seat, enabling students to sit down and plug their computers into the Internet, allowing them access to CSUB classes and professors electronically. The smart classrooms will enhance students' ability to engage in dialogue with professors, outside information sources and other students, thus enhancing their education.


A focal point of the Business Development Center is construction of a privately funded Leadership Development Center. The center is envisioned as being used by business groups for training and to augment the learning experiences of their employees.

The Leadership Development Center will contain:

  • Conference and classroom facilities equipped with the latest computing and communication technologies, capable of national and international video conferencing, and other multimedia presentations.

  • Two 45-seat executive conference rooms and seminar rooms equipped with the latest telecommunications equipment, "smart rooms."

  • Rooms with movable walls, allowing individual configuration for seminars or networking, space that is available for impromptu learning opportunities. Such configurations will allow community members and groups to take full advantage of an important community resource.

  • Small meeting rooms for students and community groups to work in various groups of up to a dozen.

  • Informal meeting areas or lounges where students, faculty and business leaders can interact. We plan to include laptop computer hookups in the lounges to enhance learning.

  • "Breakout" rooms for small-group sessions and meetings, and study rooms.

  • Interview rooms for use during recruitment season.

A parking lot dedicated for visitors to the Leadership Development Center will also be provided.

Other state funds will be used to build the Extended University building, and the university administrative building.

In addition to Bynum and Arciniega, members of the Cornerstone Campaign Executive Committee are Millie Ablin, Lou Barbich, John Brock Sr., Bruce Bunker, Jim Burke, Joan Dezember, Ray Dezember, Bruce Freeman, Judy Fritch, John Pryor, Jerry Stanners, Ray Watson Sr., and Milt Younger.

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