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published on May 10, 2017 - 3:32 AM
Written by Associated Press

Ruiz Foods has committed $1 million to expand the University Business Center at the Craig School of Business at Fresno State.

The gift will establish the “Ruiz Foods Executive Classrooms,” a state-of-the-art learning environment for students throughout the Craig School.

“This is a transformational gift for the future of business education at Fresno State,” President Joseph I. Castro said in a statement. “The Craig School educates business leaders and entrepreneurs for the Valley and beyond. The new educational space so generously made possible by Ruiz Foods will elevate the academic experience and open new possibilities for innovative teaching.”

The Ruiz family has been a generous benefactor of the business program at Fresno State. Fred Ruiz is a founder of the Institute for Family Business, and last year pledged $125,000 to create an endowment for the organization.

Kim Ruiz Beck, chair of Ruiz Food Products, Inc., is an alumna of the Craig School and serves on the board of governors for the California State University, Fresno Foundation.

“We are committed to giving back to our community. And what better way to build a future than by investing in our young people and their education,”  Ruiz Beck said in a statement. “Not only are many Ruiz family members graduates of Fresno State, but so are quite a few Ruiz Team Members in a wide variety of departments:  research and development, IT, accounting, operations, etc.”

The gift will finance construction to expand the University Business Center, which will house two educational spaces including a classroom with stadium seating equipped with the latest educational technology.

“This expansion will transform the current space into a learning environment that supports the latest technology while fostering engagement and collaboration. This space will have a significant impact on students in both the [Executive MBA] and accelerated bachelor’s program. Because of the accelerated nature, students spend up to eight hours at a time in their classrooms,” said Dr. Robert Harper, dean of the Craig School, in a statement. “We are deeply grateful to Ruiz Foods for their history of support and belief in the life-changing educational experience offered at the Craig School.”

A groundbreaking is expected in early 2018.

This is the second $1 million pledge announced by the university this week. Trucking industry leader Manuel Mancebo, Jr., 87, of Tulare also pledged $1 million to benefit the Fresno State dairy science program.


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