Ruiz Foods Products, Inc., a Dinuba-based food manufacturing company, pledged $1 million to Fresno State to expand the University Business Center at the Craig School of Business. The gift will establish the “Ruiz Foods Executive Classrooms,” a state-of-the-art learning environment for students throughout the Craig School of Business.
“This is a transformational gift for the future of business education at Fresno State,” University President Joseph I. Castro said. “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 a history of support of business education at Fresno State. Fred Ruiz is a founder of the Institute of Family Business, a
community resource that promotes family businesses as a catalyst for economic growth. Kim Ruiz Beck, chairman of Ruiz Food Products Inc., is an alumnus of the Craig School and serves on the Foundation 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 Foods Chairman Kim Ruiz Beck said. “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 from Ruiz Foods will finance construction to expand the existing University Business Center and will house two educational spaces, including a classroom with stadium seating for people that is equipped with innovative education technology.
This space will be designed to replicate what executives would expect, allowing for faculty to fully utilize technology in presentations to improve
learning outcomes for undergraduate, MBA and Executive MBA students.
“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 EMBA 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. “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.”
The added space will also serve the community. When not in use for academic purposes, the space will be available for rental as part of the slate of services provided by the University Business Center. The University anticipates breaking ground on the project in early 2018.