09 April 2014, 23:51
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CSUN announces naming of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

California State University, Northridge’s college of business welcomed alumnus David Nazarian to campus to celebrate the naming of the college in his honor.

Earlier in the week, the California State University Board of Trustees announced the approval of CSUN naming its college of business the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics in recognition of Nazarian’s commitment to lead a $25 million fundraising drive for his alma mater. Nazarian ’82 has personally committed a $10 million cash gift to CSUN.

Already among the top 10 largest undergraduate business programs in the nation — with a diverse student population that reflects the demographics of California — CSUN will focus the new funding on expanding its resources and providing its students, faculty and alumni with access to an array of innovative educational programs and experiences.

“David Nazarian is an industry-leading businessman and philanthropist whose integrity and vision are second to none,” said CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison. “We are so proud of his accomplishments and impact both on our city and our region. CSUN is a front-runner in educating future leaders of business and industry, and this unprecedented gift allows us to advance our programs and services to transform the business environment on a local and global scale.”

Nazarian, known for his investing acumen, spoke about the impact of his gift and encouraged others to follow his lead.

“While investing in companies can change lives and improve our economy, nothing is more impactful and important than access to quality education and mentoring. That is why I consider this to be the most significant investment of my career,” Nazarian said. “I’m encouraging my business associates, friends, family and anyone who wants to positively impact the lives of talented young people in our region to join me in supporting CSUN and the amazing work being done there.”

Nazarian’s history as a visionary investor and business builder began with his active involvement in his family’s early identification of the potential for wireless communications technology that ultimately became part of Qualcomm, Inc. As founder and CEO of Nimes Capital, Nazarian has established a consistent track record of identifying opportunities ahead of the pack, actively managing investments in the real estate, manufacturing, water and solar infrastructure, technology and hospitality industries. These investment activities include being a shareholder and serving on the boards of: sbe, an international hospitality company whose holdings include the SLS Hotels in Beverly Hills and South Beach, Miami; Solar Reserve, a developer of large-scale solar energy projects; Poseidon Water Resources, whose Carlsbad Desalination project will be the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere; and Pacific Island Restaurants, an operator of more than 80 restaurants in Hawaii and Guam.

Beyond his more than 30 years of success in business, Nazarian has proven to be a tireless philanthropist, donating invaluable time and funding to an array of causes and organizations. He is the chair of the investment committee and is a member of the Board of Directors of the UCLA Foundation. He also serves as a member of the Investment Committee and the Board of Governors of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Nazarian is also a member of the USC Marshall School of Business Board of Leaders, LACMA’s Collector’s Committee, The Hammer Museum Circle and the Young Presidents Organization. He is also the founder of the Youth Leadership Program at Sinai Temple.

“This historic gift and the corresponding fundraising initiative will enable CSUN to be a leader in delivering world-class business education to students throughout Southern California,” said Ken Lord, the dean of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics. “We will focus on enhancing entrepreneurship and real estate offerings, offering additional professional development and student mentoring options, increasing the success of women in business, utilizing additional domestic and global student travel opportunities, and ultimately elevating the reputation of CSUN and our college of business.”

Nazarian said he is grateful to be in a position to repay his alma mater for giving him a solid foundation and passionate to ensure future generations can access the same life-changing opportunities he did while at CSUN.

“CSUN provided me with a foundation for my later success and, thus, opened the door for many opportunities in my life,” Nazarian said. “CSUN gave me the chance to realize the American Dream, and I want to make sure that opportunity exists for as many people as possible. I am excited about the future of the College of Business and Economics, and want to do everything I can to support the College and its faculty and students in achieving their goals.”

More information on how to contribute to CSUN and the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics can be found at www.csun.edu/nazarian.

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