The Campaign for the Alumni Center Project
  • Photo of Arts Professor
  • Photo of Arts Professor
  • Photo of Arts Professor
  • Photo of Arts Professor

Why is it important to build an alumni center?

The number of Beach alumni will soon exceed 300,000, with more than 60 percent of those graduates living/working within 35 miles of campus. 

We see this as a unique opportunity. Not only must we be able to effectively serve our fast-growing alumni family, but we must also be prepared to help the next generation of alumni — today's students — succeed in a dramatically different employment environment where new college graduates can expect to change jobs an average of 20 times over the course of their careers. Embracing these responsibilities, and recognizing that alumni strongly influence how their alma maters are perceived by prospective students, by peer institutions, by government and industry, by grant makers, and by the public at large, CSULB has identified the creation of a new alumni center as a key strategic initiative and as an important step forward in the history of this great university.

Specifically, how will alumni benefit?

Our new alumni center will inspire, facilitate, and sustain alumni engagement in ways that have never before been possible.

Beach alumni will build lifelong relationships with their alma mater as they return to the center, again and again, to participate in career-development programs, to socialize and network with one another, to enjoy pre-event receptions, to learn about cutting-edge research and scholarship, and — perhaps most rewarding — to share career and life experiences with current students and recent graduates. Because knowledge of alumni success inspires greater confidence in a university, enhancing that institution's prestige and the value of the degrees it awards, alumni will also benefit from the center's focus on celebrating CSULB's rich history and on showcasing the extraordinary contributions of Beach alumni.

Are there any benefits to current students and/or other stakeholders?

Yes! It is equally important that, in addition to strengthening alumni engagement, the alumni center serve as a welcoming campus portal, a place for bringing together students and alumni for networking and mentoring opportunities, an event and conference space for campus and community, and a site that encourages all visitors to reflect on CSULB's extraordinary growth and emergence as a nationally recognized leader in student-centered education.

Where will the Alumni Center be located?

In an easily accessible location at Atherton Avenue and Merriam Way — one of the university's main corridors — and in close proximity to the Walter Pyramid and the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. Ample parking will be available.

How is the Space Configured and What is the Timeline?

Planned components include a banquet/conference hall, an executive board room, a garden-like courtyard, an executive patio, a well-equipped kitchen, and a "heritage room"/library featuring 49er memorabilia and alumni exhibits.

1/3 of the Funds RaisedThe alumni center will be funded through private contributions. Construction will begin when all funds have been secured, with groundbreaking anticipated for summer 2017. Several donors have already stepped forward to support the project, bringing the total amount raised to more than one-third of the approximately $12 million overall budget.


A project Feasibility Study was conducted and initial outreach was completed. Preliminary Architectural Design Concepts & Renderings were completed. The Lead Donor, Anna W. Ngai, committed to the project, and other leadership gifts have been pledged.

Who is Anna W. Ngai?

Portrait of Anna W. NgaiThe lead donor to the alumni center, Anna W. Ngai was an international student from Hong Kong who graduated from CSULB in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in finance and business administration. She cherishes the lifelong friendships she made during her student years and credits the education she received at The Beach for helping her achieve success as a restaurant entrepreneur.

"I was fortunate to be an international student. It was the best four years of my life. I wanted to show people that even international students should give back."


A campaign for Leadership Gifts is underway, offering a range of naming opportunities within the Alumni Center. These opportunities, ranging from $1,000,000 to $50,000, will leave a legacy for alumni and their families in support of The Beach for generations to come. Updated architectural plans and renderings are also in development and are expected summer 2015.

Naming Opportunities

Premier Naming Categories:


  • Banquet/Conference Hall
  • The Kitchen/Food Preparation Center


  • 49er Heritage room



Major Naming Categories:

  • NAMING OPPORTUNITIES I (various) $100,000
  • NAMING OPPORTUNITIES II (various) $50,000

Special Recognition Gifts:

  • $25,000 and Above


Phase III of the Alumni Center Project will commence following the successful completion of Phase II, and will include a campaign for gifts at all levels. The project design and all plans will be finalized, with groundbreaking anticipated for summer 2017.

Who can I contact for more information about this project and associated gift/naming opportunities?

Cathy Wieder
Alumni Center Gift Officer

Janice Y. Hatanaka
Associate Vice President for Alumni and University Relations