Record $10 Million Pledged to SFSU
Donation by bebe founder is the largest in SF State history
August 25, 2005 8:28 PM
A new, privately funded creative arts building is in the works after SF State received the largest donation pledge in school history.
Manny and Neda Mashouf, both SF State alumni, pledged a donation of $10 million, which will go towards a new performing and electronic media arts building. The donation by the Mashoufs more than doubles the previous largest donation in school history, a $3 million pledge made by George and Judy Marcus.
The Marcuses made the donation made in January 2005 and went towards the International Center for the Arts, which is based in the College of Creative Arts and showcases art from all over the world.
President Robert Corrigan first revealed the pledge during the Alumni Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on May 27, where Mashouf was named SF State's 2005 Alumnus of the Year. Corrigan officially announced the donation the next day in front of a packed house at Cox Stadium during SF State’s 104th commencement ceremony.
Manny, who graduated from SF State in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in political science, is the founder of bebe stores inc., which specializes in contemporary women’s apparel. He also serves as a member of the SF State College of Business Advisory Board.
His wife Neda, currently the vice chair of bebe stores, graduated from SF State in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in computer science. The Mashoufs’ son Karim graduated from SF State in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
"Neda and I are excited to be a part of an innovative university that understands the changing needs of its community and the impact that technology has on every aspect of life such as music, art and business,” Mashouf said in a university press release announcing the donation. He declined further comment to [X]press.
“The university is really appreciative of the Mashouf's love for SFSU and their incredible generosity,” said SF State spokeswoman Ellen Griffin.
The new building, which will be named for the Mashoufs, will reportedly be located on the corner of Font and Lake Merced Blvd and cover five and a half acres of land. The current creative arts building covers approximately four acres.
Construction of the new building is not scheduled to take place until the 2009-2010 school year, and the building is scheduled to open around fall of 2012, according to the university news release.
The building will be the new home of the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department, the Theatre Arts Department and School of Music and Dance. It will have a 250-seat black box theater, a 350-seat recital hall, a 450-seat theater and a 1,200-seat auditorium.
The largest theater in the current creative arts building is McKenna Theater, which seats 701.
"We need to have a good facility that will benefit our future students," said Wan-Lee Cheng, acting dean of the college of creative arts. "Many of our facilities are too old and not really worth renovation."
"If you were to walk around the (current creative arts) building, you'll know why (the new building) is going there," said Theater Arts Department Chair Roy Conboy.
"These facilities are out of date and decrepit," he said, pointing to a spot on the ceiling where a tile once existed. “The roof leaks and we work with a lot of equipment in performing arts that could be damaged (by the rain).”
Conboy said he and other department chairs and faculty members in the College of Creative Arts have been working towards the creation of a new creative arts building for the last decade.
“From the department level, we’ve been urging it for eight or ten years,” Conboy said. “But we went into the planning stages four years ago.”
According to Griffin, the Mashoufs decided to pledge their donation towards the new creative arts building after several conversations with university officials.
The current creative arts building is scheduled to be demolished, and there is no word yet as to what will take its place.
Prior to the $10 million donation, the Mashoufs had already donated more than $200,000 to SF State.
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