California State University, Northridge’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics doubled down on the big announcements at the college’s 50th anniversary gala celebration Thursday, Sept. 22.
The evening’s program concluded with the announcement of a $5 million gift from CSUN alumni Harvey ’70 (Business Administration) and Harriet Bookstein. CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison revealed that this gift and those from other supporters of the college put the college’s $25 million fundraising campaign over its goal, which launched two years ago with a lead gift of $10 million from CSUN alumnus David Nazarian.
“One of the true pleasures of being president of a university with the impact of CSUN is those moments when we see our great university make an even greater leap forward. This is one of those moments,” Harrison said. “Future generations of students will benefit from the investments made in the college.”
Pending California State University Board of Trustees’ approval, CSUN will rename Juniper Hall, which houses the Nazarian College, in honor of the Booksteins. Money from the Booksteins’ gift will be used to create the Bookstein Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Endowment to expand the activities of CSUN’s acclaimed VITA Clinic, which offers free tax-preparation assistance to low-income families and individuals; the Bookstein Leadership Endowment to support the college’s priorities, and the Bookstein Distinguished Chair in Real Estate Endowment in the real estate program of the Department of Business Law.
The fundraising campaign for CSUN’s business college launched in March 2014 when entrepreneur and philanthropist David Nazarian ’82 (Business Administration), founder and CEO of Nimes Capital, donated $10 million of his own money and pledged to help raise an additional $15 million for the college. The Booksteins’ $5 million gift helped the university reach the fundraising goal in only two years.
“CSUN’s College of Business and Economics, which I am honored to have named after me, is a tremendous training ground for the thousands of future business leaders that walk through its doors,” Nazarian said. “But it can be so much more. With new capital investments, we are looking forward to attracting the best professors and faculty members, and to strengthening the culture of personal excellence in all of its programs.”
Thanks to the evening’s sponsors, more than 85 students attended the event and witnessed firsthand the possibilities a CSUN business education can deliver in the form of the successful alumni in attendance.
“Being surrounded by the students at the Nazarian College definitely helped me through my own studies and business aspirations,” said recent Nazarian College graduate and entrepreneur Alan Campos ’16 (Business Law). “My classmates were motivated — you could feel the energy of their motivation. They wanted to do something after graduating, whether getting more education, starting their own business or trying to change the world.”
Throughout the evening, speakers highlighted how the Nazarian College has changed and is changing the face of business in Los Angeles and beyond.
“When I came to CSUN about three and a half years ago, I knew I was coming to an institution that was creating opportunity for an amazingly diverse and highly deserving student population,” said Dean of the Nazarian College Kenneth Lord. “What I did not fully appreciate then was that it was on the cusp of a thrilling potential to achieve recognition as one of the world’s great business schools.”
As part of the 50th anniversary gala, the college recognized its Fabulous 50 Business Alumni, an impressive list of Southern California, national and global business leaders. To learn more about the honorees, visit www.csun.edu/business50. CSUN Foundation Board Chariman Earl Enzer ’82 (Finance), an alumnus and financial services executive, spoke on behalf of the Fabulous 50 alumni.
“A brilliant example of CSUN fulfilling its mission and transforming lives is the fabulous five decades that the Nazarian College fulfilled the ambitions of the many thousands of alumni that the 50 of us are here tonight to represent,” Enzer said.
CNBC anchor and CSUN alumnus Bill Griffeth ’80 (Journalism) served as master of ceremonies for the evening. Thousands of alumni from around the world have viewed the live stream of the gift announcement on Facebook, and more than 100,000 engaged with the event through social media.
Sponsors for the gala include Y&S Nazarian Foundation, Ducera Partners, KPMG, The Sterling Group, Aristotle Capital Management, Bank of Hope, Ernst and Young, HCVT, OneSource by PCS, sbe, Stefan R. Bothe, Agora, CIM, Delta Dental, EastWest Bank, Epson, Farmers Insurance, PCS Energy, PennyMac, PerkinsCoie, UBS, The Bookstein Family Foundation, Maryam Maddahi, Jeff and Joni Marine, Sabrina Kay, Ronnie Haft, Jack Corwin, Bryan Ezralow, Tony and Jeanne Pritzker, The Ronald W. Burkle Foundation, Asset Campus Housing, B&B Premier Insurance Solutions, BB&T Insurance Services of California, Crescent Hotels and Resorts, Deloitte, Laramar, The Lincoln Motor Company Executive Business Program, Merck, MidFirst Bank, MGA Entertainment, MidFirst Bank, Moss-Adams LLP, Ninjio, Northern Trust, Oaktree, Premier Business Centers, PWC, Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, teamCFO, Venable LLP, Wells Fargo, Heather J. Briggs, Chuck and Kathy Friedlander, David Friedman, Sharon Nazarian, Shulamit Nazarian, Alan M. Schnaid, Lily and Allan Schweitzer, Natasha and Shawn Sedaghat, the Shahery Family Foundation, Allied Orion Group, Earl and Karen Enzer, Jack Suzar and Linda May, and Alex and Arda Yemenidjian.