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Proposed alumni center to be funded via donations

The Anna W. Ngai Alumni and Visitor Center hopes to begin construction in the fall of 2018.

Floor+plans+for+the+proposed++Alumni+center.
Floor plans for the proposed  Alumni center.

Floor plans for the proposed Alumni center.

Courtesy of ZGF Architects LLP

Courtesy of ZGF Architects LLP

Floor plans for the proposed Alumni center.

Carlos Villicana, Assistant Arts and Life editor

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If the proposed Anna W. Ngai Alumni and Visitor Center receives all $12 million of funding expected to begin construction, Cal State Long Beach students may spot a new building in the parking lots near Atherton Street and Merriam Way.

The building is currently slated to begin construction in the fall of 2018. The center is named after international student Anna W. Ngai, who traveled to CSULB from Hong Kong and graduated in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and business administration. Ngai, who founded several companies that operate multiple restaurant chains throughout California and Oregon, is the lead donor of the project.

“I was fortunate to be an international student. It was the best four years of my life,” said Ngai in a statement on the Alumni Association’s website. “I wanted to show people that even international students should give back.”

Specific details such as the center’s appearance and parking will not be finalized until the $12 million needing to fund the building have been accrued. With $5.5 million of the donation-only funded building raised so far, 54 percent of the budget is still needed.

Anyone who wants to support the project via donation is welcome to. However, recognition is only promised to those who donate in exchange for one of the naming opportunities, the most affordable of which will be glass panels on a wall for $25,000.

Other naming opportunities include $50,000 for five courtyard benches, $100,000 for the showcase lounge fireplace and $500,000 for the alumni office suite.

The center’s lobby, entrance, library, executive boardroom and north banquet hall naming opportunities have already been pledged to by donors.

When former Associated Students Inc. presidents met on Wednesday night at the ocean-side home of former ASI president Ken Miller, the 16 CSULB alumni shared stories from their lives as students and today.

Miller then introduced President Jane Close Conoley, who together with the CSULB Alumni Association, approached the group with the idea of a new building that will serve as a base for alumni to connect with the student body.

“This is one our steps to building that kind of mighty Beach network where students can find each other in San Francisco or Denver or New York or Washington,” Conoley said to the group of ASI presidents.

The building is to be a net-zero energy facility, meaning the energy annually used by the building should be approximately equal to the amount of renewable energy that is created on campus.

“They’re going to have to look at everything like the kinds of products we use and if we’re recycling,” said Richonette McManuis, director of development for the alumni and visitor center. Learning opportunities such as mentorship programs and networking activities are planned to take place in the Anna W. Ngai Alumni and Visitor Center.

McManuis said that she is open to speaking with anyone who would like to help make the project a reality, including the parents of over 310,000 alumni and “friends of the campus.”

“Quite frankly… anybody that will let me talk to them,” McManuis said.

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