published on January 24, 2017 - 4:07 AM
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Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro today announced the formation of a new commission that would explore construction of a new performing arts center.


The announcement was made during his State of the University address this morning at the Save Mart Center.

The President’s Commission on the Future of Arts and Humanities will be comprised of faculty, administrators and leaders from the community and across the nation. The proposed performing arts center, which would include adjoining state-of-the-art classrooms, would be built on campus facing Shaw Avenue and would host a variety of theatre, dance and musical performances.

“A new performing arts center, along with our plans to build a new residential housing facility and a new student union and faculty center to replace their aging predecessors, will transform the face of Fresno State along Shaw Avenue, from Cedar to Maple. Each of these new buildings will require innovative and unique public-private financial partnerships to become a reality,” Castro said in a statement.

The vision for the Shaw frontage of campus will complement the investments made along Cedar Avenue, Castro explained. Through a combination of public and private funds, those enhancements included a soccer/lacrosse field, upgrades to the tennis courts and track and eventual upgrades to Bulldog Stadium.

Castro highlighted several significant achievements during his address, including:

— The Kremen School of Education and Human Development’s partnership with the California Teaching Fellows Foundation employed 900 Fresno State students as mentors in K-12 schools throughout the Valley.

— Fresno State is now charging the least amount of tuition and fees of any of the 23 CSU campuses – nearly $3,000 less each year than the highest cost CSU.

— More than $220 million was awarded in financial aid, about 80 percent in the form of grants and scholarships. Loan indebtedness for Fresno State graduates — at $18,000 on average — is among the lowest in the nation.

Castro closed the event by thanking the community for supporting his presidency over the past three and a half years.

“It has been an adventure — a thrilling bull ride — every day serving alongside leaders like you who love the Valley as much as I do,” Castro said. “Many of you have that same motivation to make a difference because you grew up here, like me, and have seen the power of what having transparency and shared goals can do.”

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