Fresno State alumni and longtime university supporters Earl and Beverly Knobloch have established an endowment with the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology to enrich robotic research.

University President Joseph I. Castro announced the gift today during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Jordan Research Center, a new 30,000-square-foot interdisciplinary research center designed to foster collaboration among agricultural sciences and technology, engineering and science and mathematics students and faculty.

The gift from the Knoblochs will support the Jordan Research Center’s instrument/robotics laboratory. The space, which will be named in honor of Knoblochs, will be used by students and faculty to develop and test the next generation of sensors for real-world applications.

“The research and innovation that will be conducted in this space will have wide-ranging impact throughout the Central Valley and the world,” said Dr. Charles Boyer, dean of the Jordan College. “We are so grateful to the Knoblochs for their dedication to agricultural education and research.

The Knoblochs have long supported agricultural education at Fresno State. Beverly’s sister, Joyce Gibson, bequeathed $2 million to the Jordan College to support the Rue & Gwen Gibson Farm Market and the equine program. Last year, the Knoblochs gave to further support the Gibson Farm Market, which is named in honor of Joyce and Beverly’s parents.

“Agriculture is the heart and soul of the San Joaquin Valley and with the establishment of the research center, other disciplines such as engineering, science and math as well as business can work together to make agriculture a shining star,” Beverly Knobloch said.

The Jordan Research Center will be located at the corner of Barstow and Woodrow avenues and is scheduled to open in fall 2015. The facility was made possible by a $29.4 million gift from the Jordan family to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in 2009.

This $24 million project will feature flexible space designed for interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Faculty and students from the Jordan College will work alongside colleagues in the Lyles College of Engineering and the College of Science and Mathematics.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Castro also announced two additional gifts to establish endowments to enhance laboratory spaces inside the building. Olam Spices and Vegetable Ingredients, a global provider of agriculture products and food ingredients, donated $200,000 to support the sensory evaluation, tasting and prep laboratory and retired dentist Dr. Harry B. Moordigian, Jr. gave $200,000 to support a microbiology laboratory.

For more information, contact Shannon Fast, associate director of development for the Jordan College, at 559.278.4266 or

To discuss potential partnership opportunities in the Jordan Research Center, contact Alcidia Freitas Gomes at 559.278.4266 or

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