MARCH 19, 2000

CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu


Business Development Center Campaign reaches another milestone

Occidental of Elk Hills, Inc., has pushed nearly to the top California State University, Bakersfield's campaign to augment CSUB's new Business Development Center.

Oxy of Elk Hills, an Occidental Oil and Gas company, has donated $100,000 for improvements in the new complex, which will house the School of Business and Public Administration and the new Leadership Development Center. Oxy's gift puts the campaign within 97 percent - $2.57 million - of its $2.65 million goal.

CSUB President Tomas Arciniega announced the milestone at a news conference. "First of all, let me say 'Thank you' to Oxy for this most generous gift. We're delighted, we're just very pleased," Arciniega said. "People and companies throughout Kern County have recognized that an investment in CSUB is an investment in the future."

Greg Bynum, chairman of the Cornerstone Campaign executive committee and a CSUB alumnus, also expressed his thanks to Oxy for its gift. "I feel fortunate that so many friends of the university are coming forward to help with this important effort," Bynum 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 really appreciate Oxy's wonderful gift, and I encourage anyone who is interested in making a gift and being part of this campaign to call me or the University Advancement division at CSUB."

John Allen, general manager of Occidental of Elk Hills, said Oxy has been a long-time supporter of CSUB. "It is gratifying to see the university expand," he said. "But Oxy views this as more than a contribution to the university. Our intent is to plant a seed at CSUB that will continue to grow and enrich the community as a whole. By supporting CSUB's Business Development Center, we hope to help stimulate the growth and prosperity of the local business community as well as enhance the educational opportunities for students."

Michael Chertok, CSUB Vice President for University Advancement, said he is deeply grateful for the community's response to the campaign. "People in the community realize that for the university to provide a first-rate education we need to enhance what the state provides," he said. "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 not only for students but also the community as a whole through the state-of-the-art facilities and expanded cultural and educational events."

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.

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. Plans 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.

For more information about the Business Development Center Campaign, please call CSUB's Office for University Advancement at 661/664-2136.


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