Fresno State’s Jordan Agricultural Research Center Opens May 13
By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor
California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) is on the leading edge of new opportunities with the opening of the new Jordan Agricultural Research Center (Center) at 9 a.m. Friday, May 13, 2016. The new Center, is the first of its kind in the California State University system,” said Fresno State president Joseph Castro, “and is going to transform research in agriculture throughout the Valley and beyond.”
Castro said the Center is just one step towards making Fresno State the best agricultural college. “If there’s any place that should have the best college of agriculture, it should be Fresno, ” he stated, “and it should be Fresno State.”
“The Research Center is a completely privately-funded building,” said Castro. Fresno State reported the $29.4 million project was funded by the Jordan family, who will be in attendance at the building’s opening, among many other friends of Fresno State who helped to get the building off the ground.
Castro shared that some will not be at the ceremony. “Unfortunately we just lost Dee Jordan,” he said, “so she won’t be with us in person; but we know she’ll be there in spirit, and her whole family will be there. The same goes for our alumnus, Harry Moordigian, who passed away recently. He’ll also be there in spirit.”
Construction on the new building broke ground on Friday, June 13, 2014, and will open for student use in just under two years.
Castro summed up the Commission’s recommendations as “right,” and they are being implemented. “We really have a roadmap now to be a much more visible, stronger, more vibrant college of agriculture,” Castro said.
Under clear blue skies, with hundreds of agricultural industry members in attendance, the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State broke ground yesterday on a new 30,000 sq. ft. Jordan Research Center, at the corner of Barstow and Woodrow Avenues, designed to foster collaboration among students and faculty in agricultural sciences and technology engineering and science and mathematics. The new research center of Fresno State is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015.
Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro said the world-class Jordan Research Center would provide many opportunities for students. “We are very excited about the Jordan Research Center. It’s going to provide many new opportunities for the next generations of leaders in agriculture, advance the research throughout our region and play a key role in strengthening our economy here in the Valley,” Castro said.
Castro said that the ag industry in California would be there to support that center well. “We are blessed with so many partnerships now with agriculture, and one of my highest priorities is to expand the number of partners, and this Center will help us do that.”
A $29.4 million dollar gift from the Jordan family to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in 2009 made this facility possible. “We are so fortunate to have the Jordon’s as friends. They love agriculture, and they love Fresno State. And we are grateful for their gift.”
The monetary gift is the largest cash gift in Fresno State’s history and among the largest ever in the CSU system.
“My late husband Bud, as well as brother-in-law Lowell, would be so very pleased to see not only the family legacy tied to Fresno State agriculture, but to know that the future of agriculture will be well served by the work to be done in the research center,” said Dee Jordan.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Castro also announced three gifts to establish endowments to enhance laboratory spaces inside the building:
Retired Fresno Dentist Harry Moodigian, who walked onto the Fresno State campus in 1956, has given $200,000 in support of a microbiology lab at the center. “I want to see my University in the forefront of research in the field of microbiology. This is a wonderful way of supporting the research program.
And, Dave Watkins, senior vice president of agricultural operations for Loam Spices and Vegetable Ingredients has established a $200,000 endowment to support the interdisciplinary research lab.
“We moved our headquarters to Fresno three years ago, and we immediately began reaching out to the University to build our relationship, established an intern recruiting program, and when this opportunity came along, it was a perfect fit for us,” said Watkins.
Alumni Earl and Beverly Knobloch gave in support of the instrument/robotics laboratory space.
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This $24 million project will feature open, flexible space designed for collaborative research. Faculty and students from the Jordan College will work alongside colleagues in the Lyles College of Engineering and the College of Science and Mathematics.
“At Fresno State, we want to support advances in the agriculture industry, and we have the opportunity to do that with the Jordan Research Center,” said Castro. “This facility is going to make a tremendous impact in the Valley and around the world. We’ll be able to perform research that will advance knowledge throughout the industry.”
“This is the first-of-its-kind on a CSU campus. Fresno State agriculture will be on the leading edge as we continue to make significant contributions to enhancing production agriculture, food systems and natural resources,” said Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of the Jordan College.
The state-of-the-art center will include wet and dry laboratories and laboratory support space. “For our students, the Jordan Research Center will create an environment where research becomes totally integrated into university life. This will be a place where the region’s greatest minds will enrich our environment and unlock the solution for our greatest challenges,” Boyer said.
“Fresno State specializes in applied research, aligning its resources with the needs of the Central Valley,” Castro said. “The Jordan Research Center is a perfect example of the vision and creativity that will drive Fresno State’s growth.”
For more information, contact Shannon Fast, associate director of development for the Jordan College, at 559.278.4266 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To discuss potential partnership opportunities in the Jordan Research Center, contact Alcidia Freitas Gomes at 559.278.4266 or email@example.com.