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TOM URIBES, Public Information Specialist: tomu@csufresno.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 20, 2000

SMITTCAMP ALUMNI HOUSE GRAND OPENING IS MARCH 21

A $2.2 million dream will become a reality Tuesday, March 21 when the Smittcamp Alumni House that now adorns the southeast end of the California State University, Fresno campus officially opens.


The public is invited to the grand opening of the 10,000-square-foot Southern-style structure located at Shaw and Woodrow Avenues, east of Maple, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m.


A $1 million donation by Muriel and Earl Smittcamp two years ago fueled the drive to build the house, which will serve as the university's official welcome point. The main lobby will serve as the university's visitor information center.


Two of the Smittcamp's children, Carol Copeland and Robert Smittcamp, will represent the family at the ribbon cutting, joined by Fresno State President John D. Welty, Alumni Association President Sam Masumoto, and project fundraising chairman Bill Forbes. Entertainment will be provided by Joe Lenigan's Little Big Band.


The finishing touches - three chandeliers, a leaded and beveled sand-carved glass door designed by alum Steve Bonesteel, and a grand piano donated by Gary Cocola in honor of his father Morris - were recently completed as the staff of the university's Alumni Association moved in the past few weeks.

Landscaping is expected to be completed by the end of March said Jacqui Glasener, director of the Alumni Association.


In addition to the association's offices, the two-story building includes conference rooms, a small kitchen, reception and social areas, a chapter/volunteer resource center, garden courtyards and an alumni library.


The recent construction, by contractor Leo Wilson, was the first of two phases planned for the new building. The second phase, pending fundraising, will be a single-story addition that will house a banquet hall/ballroom, an enlarged kitchen and additional restrooms for gatherings up to 700 people.


The backyard also features a courtyard patio that will hold special commemorative laser-engraved bricks that the Alumni Association is selling as a fundraiser. Proceeds will support the Smittcamp Alumni House and its membership services.


About 300 have been sold to date with some bricks still available. Individuals or groups may purchase the laser-engraved bricks, which are $65 for current students, $100 for alumni and friends of the university and $250 for corporations.


The Alumni House is already in demand with about 35 bookings through the spring semester, said Lois May, assistant to the director for operations. After June 1, the house has been booked for 11 events. University Outreach Services will launch campus tours for prospective students from the new house twice a day, seven days a week, for the remainder of the year, May said.


For more details about the brick campaign or the Alumni Association, call (559) 278-2586.