The Beavers Charitable Trust has committed to funding one-half of a $1 million endowment to establish the position of Professor of Practice in Heavy Civil Construction in the College of Engineering. CSULB is the first university in California and one of only five in the nation to receive the grant.
The Beavers Chair is designed to promote interest in civil and construction engineering at CSULB and also to expand opportunities, most notably through student internships with Beaver-affiliated companies, for hands-on learning. Also, this professorship is expected to strengthen the pipeline of highly skilled heavy construction practitioners who will create the nation’s highways, bridges, rail corridors and dams.
"This new addition will enable us to deliver highly qualified graduates who combine technical knowledge in heavy civil construction with modern business practices and societal concern," said Forouzan Golshani, dean of the College of Engineering. "A secondary benefit will be enhanced partnerships between CSULB and the heavy civil construction industry—particularly in the port area and its infrastructure."
Ralph Larison, a trustee of the Beavers Charitable Trust and a longtime friend of the university, is spearheading the process of appealing to alumni, industry partners and other friends to help raise the matching funds for the grant.
"I'm very pleased and excited to play a role in providing financial assistance to the creation of The Beavers Endowed Professor of Practice at the College of Engineering at California State University at Long Beach. I look forward to meeting our financial goals well ahead of schedule," said Larison, who also serves on the Dean's Advisory Council in the College of Engineering.
The professorship will help to develop and enhance partnerships with the heavy civil construction industry that will serve to provide hands-on learning for students, help shape curriculum and research, increase internships and provide scholarship funds.
The Beavers Charitable Trust has given generously to the College of Engineering over the years and has an endowed Beavers Heavy Construction scholarship fund at CSULB. Founded in 1955, the Beavers is a social, honorary organization formed, organized and managed by construction companies and individuals who are involved in heavy engineering construction.
The purpose of the Beavers is threefold: to promote goodwill, friendliness and consideration within the heavy engineering construction industry; to give recognition to those men and women who have demonstrated particular skill, responsibility and integrity; and to encourage and support the entry of promising young individuals into heavy engineering construction.