Hundreds gather for Resnick Student Union groundbreaking

Lynda and Stewart Resnick breaking ground with their shovels at the construction site of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Student Union Groundbreaking Ceremony at Fresno State on Thursday Feb. 20, 2020. (Armando Carreno/The Collegian)

Fresno State celebrated the construction of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Student with a ceremonial groundbreaking on Thursday Feb. 20. 

Hundreds of students, faculty and community members were in attendance at the ceremony. 

The event was kicked off by a performance from the Bulldog Beat scholarship band.

Lynda and Stewart Resnick, owners of The Wonderful Company, were in attendance at the celebration. 

The university gained final approval for the naming of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Student Union from the California State University Board of Trustees in September 2019 after a $10 million donation from the Resnicks. 

The donation will help support the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new building. 

Lynda Resnick spoke to the crowd about the impact that she believes this building will have for the students. 

“Fresno State is a vital institution and an integral part of the fabric of the Central Valley, deserving of a world-class student union,” said Lynda Resnick. “Stewart and I are gratified to support this central hub that will enrich the student experience on campus, while serving as a place where students can connect with each other and feel a greater sense of belonging.”

Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro spoke with The Collegian about the new aspects that the building will bring including restaurants, bigger spaces, ability to host events and 24-hour access for students. 

“Students are going to find that their whole experience at Fresno State will be much better and more supportive,” Castro said. “Not only will we have the space where they can come together and the clubs can come together, but it’s going to be a place where they can get to know each other, watch football games,…I think it will meet the needs of the students with 24/7 access to parts of it. Because different students have come to me saying they had no place to study at three in the morning.”

An additional donation was announced by Castro during the event. Bank of America donated $250,000 in support of the Bank of America Welcome Center. 

According to a press release from Fresno State, the 84,000-square-foot student union is expected to host meeting spaces, dedicated spaces for clubs, student organizations and an outdoor terrace. 

A portion of the Resnicks’ investment will be used to create The Wonderful Scholar Center within the new student union. 

“The Resnick Student Union will add to the vibrancy of our campus for the decades ahead,” Castro said. “By aligning our mission of student success with our generous donors’ passions, we are demonstrating the power and importance of private philanthropy in supporting public higher education.”

According to the press release, several other naming rights to various spaces within the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Student Union include: The Leon S. Peters Foundation giving $1 million in support of the Leon S. Peters Outdoor Event Plaza, The Honorable Marvin and Jane Baxter giving $250,000 in support of the Justice Marvin and Jane Baxter ASI Executive Suite and Ryan and Ashley Jacobsen giving $25,000 in support of the Ryan and Ashley Jacobsen Associated Students, Inc. President’s Office.

Construction of the Resnick Student Union is expected to be completed in fall 2021.

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