California State University trustees on Wednesday (May 16) approved Fresno State President John D. Welty’s recommendations for two new names at the university: The Benjamin and Marion Kremen School of Education and Human Development and The Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Both new names honor local donors who have made substantial investments in the university and its students.
Last month, Fresno philanthropist Marion Kremen presented the university a $4 million gift via a living trust in addition to an annual gift commitment to honor her late husband, Dr. Benjamin Kremen, a pioneer of Fresno State’s counselor education programs. Mrs. Kremen said the gift is intended to create a doctoral program in education and to strengthen the school’s graduate program.
The Kremen School is the first named school of education in the CSU system and one of only a few in the nation. It is the second school at Fresno State bearing a donor’s name. The Craig School of Business was named in 1992.
While on the faculty at California State University, Fresno, Benjamin Kremen was a pioneer in counselor education and was nationally known for his work in K-12 guidance programs. He is credited with establishing the Master of Arts degree in education at Fresno State and with the development and coordination of pupil personnel guidance programs in Fresno and Madera counties.
The Lyles Center, funded by a gift from Lyles Diversified Inc., will be located in the new Save Mart Center complex on campus. The center will be a San Joaquin Valley hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. A groundbreaking ceremony for the Save Mart Center was held earlier this month.
The Lyles Center will “build upon the activities already under way in entrepreneurship led by the Craig School of Business,” said Welty. “The mission of the new center is to encourage and promote innovation and entrepreneurship to result in new business start-ups and new product launches,” he said.
The center also will focus on educating entrepreneurs to the opportunities available in markets across the United States and around the globe. The center will provide intellectual and applied leadership to students, educators and business leaders to promote the values and practices of innovation and entrepreneurship.