CSUN Announces Naming of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics

David Nazarian at Thursday's celebration. Photo by Lee Choo.

David Nazarian at Thursday’s celebration. Photo by Lee Choo.

David Nazarian Leads $25 Million Fundraising Drive
with Transformational Gift to CSUN College of Business

California State University, Northridge’s college of business welcomed alumnus David Nazarian to campus Thursday, March 27,  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.

About CSUN:

California State University, Northridge is a nationally recognized university serving more than 38,000 full- and part-time students in the Los Angeles region. Founded in 1958, CSUN is among the largest universities in the nation and is ranked among the top universities for bachelor’s degrees awarded to minority students. The university has nine colleges and more than 2,000 faculty members who teach courses leading to bachelor’s degrees in 69 disciplines, master’s degrees in 58 fields and doctorates in education and physical therapy, as well as 28 teaching credential programs. Continuously evolving and changing to meet the needs of California and the nation at large, CSUN is home to dozens of acclaimed programs where students gain valuable hands-on experience working alongside faculty and industry professionals.

About the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics:

Serving more than 6,000 undergraduate majors with a full range of business programs, the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics also offers a Master of Business Administration program and specialized Master of Science programs in accountancy and taxation. The college is recognized for excellence by multiple external organizations. Its accreditation by AACSB International places it among the top 5 percent of global business degree-granting institutions. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the best part-time MBA programs for three consecutive years, the CSUN MBA enjoyed a 32-point rise in the 2014 rankings released earlier this month and now stands second among the 23 universities in the California State University system. The college has been recognized in Princeton Review’s list of Best Business Schools for the last seven years. Its recently launched undergraduate curriculum in financial planning immediately acquired national acclaim and has been cited over the last two years as one of the “great schools for future financial planners” by Financial Planning Magazine.

About David Nazarian:

In his 30-year career, David Nazarian has established a consistent track record of identifying opportunities ahead of the pack, actively managing those investments and executing effective monetization strategies across a diverse range of investment classes and industries. 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 which ultimately became part of Qualcomm, Inc., one of the most successful corporations in the history of the telecommunications industry.

Capitalizing on the success of Qualcomm, Nazarian focused on investment opportunities that could be utilized to diversify his family’s holdings. Nazarian displayed his acumen and investment vision by orchestrating the roll-up of aerospace equipment manufacturers during a challenging period in a highly cyclical industry; acquiring vast holdings of real estate from the Resolution Trust Corporation in the early 1990s; and strategically investing in the hotel industry following the economic downturn in the early 2000s, then divesting a majority of those investments prior to 2008. Nazarian started three early-stage venture funds concentrated on wireless communication and broadband infrastructure businesses, and he backed highly innovative clean technology companies. Nazarian’s philosophy is to be active in the management of investments via a variety of roles, including serving as an executive, investment committee member, member of the board of directors and/or formal advisor to the underlying companies.

In addition to his business activities, Nazarian is extremely active in the greater Los Angeles community through his support of numerous charitable organizations, including his role as Chair of the Investment Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of the UCLA Foundation, his involvement with the Board of Governors and Investment Committee for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and his membership on the USC Marshall School of Business Board of Leaders. After earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration from CSUN, Nazarian received his MBA from the University of Southern California.

About Nimes Capital:

Nimes Capital is the private investment arm of Nazarian Enterprises, concentrating in investments in alternative asset classes. Nazarian Enterprises has a well-established track record of successful investing, including its role as a lead early-stage investor in Qualcomm, Inc. Led by David Nazarian, the Nimes Capital team has numerous investments in real estate and in operating company holdings across a broad spectrum of industries. Nimes Capital seeks to make control equity investment opportunities in stable, well-rounded companies with a history of positive cash flow.