CSU Trustees Approve Naming of Planned New Engineering Building for Philanthropist Ernest E. Shannen | Jobs Vox


CSU trustees have approved the naming of a new engineering building on campus the Ernest E. Shannen Engineering Teaching and Research Building in honor of a $10 million gift from Shannen, a prominent philanthropist.

“I’m just thankful that I’ve been able to help the university,” Shannen said. “It is beneficial for the whole region and, of course, for the students. They have a better life, they have good jobs, and thanks to the university, they can get a good education here. I am for that.

The approval was announced on Wednesday, November 16 during the regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting.

The new building will replace the old Santa Clara Hall. Potential plans call for a facility larger than 100,000 square feet that would include teaching and research laboratories, expandable and flexible classrooms, updated equipment to complement existing hardware, and group and interdisciplinary work spaces.

“We want space for our students to collaborate and interact,” said Kevan Shafizadeh, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “It’s really going to be about hands-off equipment.”

Shannen, 97, recently visited the campus for an event to celebrate his contributions to the university. He joined Shafizadeh and other members of the campus community for a tour of Santa Clara Hall.

Shafizadeh showed Shafizadeh the building’s dated rooms and aging equipment, while highlighting what implications the new building would have for student projects, research and collaboration with industry in developing technical solutions. ,

“It’s a wonderful celebration, and I’m glad we’re all here to celebrate Ernest’s gift to Sacramento State,” Shafizadeh said. “I cannot put into words the impact this gift will have on not only the students passing through our program, but the students who visit campus.”

“Mr. Shannen is a true philanthropist whose commitment to changing the lives of our students has been and will continue to be transformative.” — President Robert S. Nelson

A new engineering building will be the second named building at Sac State and the second named will be a gift from Mr. Tschannen. In total, Tschann has committed nearly $20 million to the university, including $9 million for the Ernest E. Tschann Science Complex, which opened in 2019 and has already welcomed an estimated 1,550 students for astronomy courses .

“Mr. Shannen is a true philanthropist whose commitment to transforming the lives of our students has been and will continue to be transformative,” President Robert S. Nelson said. “His gift to name a new engineering building will contribute to our ability to one day build a modern facility to meet the incredible demand for engineers to solve complex problems we haven’t yet imagined.” Is.

“Thanks to Mr. Shannen, our students will be well equipped to innovate, discover and potentially lead the energy initiatives of the future.”

After Sac State’s success on the rise The extensive fundraising campaign, Shannen “recognized the science campus’ impact on local education and inspired it to make a greater impact,” said Antoinette Wojtek, executive director of the university’s major gifts and campaigns.

Wojtek said Senchenen’s motivations for supporting the university include a desire to give his money back to the community where he earned it. A native of Switzerland, Tschannen moved to the US in the 1950s, living in Detroit and Minneapolis before coming to the Sacramento area.

He worked as a mechanical engineer while indulging in his hobby of buying residential properties. Eventually, he became a full-time real estate investor. In addition to his contributions to Sac State, Tschannen has donated to many other causes, organizations, and educational institutions.

Wojtek said, “The approval … on the part of the trustees reflects their commitment to the power of philanthropy and their commitment to being a person who truly sees the impact of higher education.”

The importance of this funding to the upliftment of the entire region, including supporting initiatives with community partners such as SMUD, the California Mobility Center, and the Placer Center, was emphasized by Lisa Cardoza, Vice President for University Advancement. “By allowing us to use the space to grow and work with key leaders in green technology across the region, Sacramento State is better positioned to advance faculty and students in important STEM fields, most importantly first generation And there are underrepresented students.”

Ernest E. Shannen holding microphone and speaking
Philanthropist Ernest E. Shannen, whose $10 million gift will support construction of a new engineering building, also donated $9 million to help build the Tschann Science Complex, which opened in 2019.

About News and Advancement Staff

Sacramento State’s news and communications team writes and shares stories about the university, its students, faculty and alumni, revealing the accomplishments, achievements and milestones that mark its position as an educational leader and an important community center Shows its status. The department’s writers, editors and public relations personnel look to a broad spectrum of campuses and the people who thrive here to support the university’s mission.


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