The University of California, Merced's recently named Kolligian Library also will honor one of Fresno's leading developers, according to an announcement by Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey.
The first floor of the Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library, one of the first buildings to be constructed on the new campus, will be named for Ed and Jeanne Kashian in recognition of the leadership and support that the Kashians have directed to UC Merced. In addition, they are making a substantial contribution to support an endowment for the central library, named in honor of their lifelong friends and business partners, Leo Kolligian and his late wife, Dottie.
“The Kashian floor will be a vibrant and busy place where students and faculty will gather and where student activities will intermingle with study and research in the library,” said Bruce Miller, UC Merced founding librarian.
The State of California's 2001-2002 budget allocates $162.4 million for the initial creation of infrastructure and the first three buildings at UC Merced, including $56.5 million for the library/information technology center. Also serving as an information technology center, the Kolligian Library will house an array of new and traditional information resources and services, computer laboratories, instructional technology support, multimedia services and library service instructional rooms.
“Ed and Jeanne Kashian have provided significant guidance and vision for our new campus, and we are inspired by their commitment,” said Chancellor Tomlinson-Keasey. “The gift for the library also is a testament to friendship, because it is a gift based on the love and respect the Kashians have for the Kolligian family. Having UC Merced's main library permanently recognize the names of these two remarkable Fresno families is an honor for the University.”
A founding member of the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees, Ed Kashian also serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Real Estate Committee of the board.
“Jeanne and I are committed to doing our share to improve the quality of life in the San Joaquin Valley, and UC Merced will make tremendous contributions to that end,” said Ed Kashian. “Most importantly, the new campus will broaden higher education opportunities for our Valley's students and economic opportunities for all Valley residents.”
Beginning his career in real estate in 1958, Ed Kashian currently heads Lance-Kashian & Company, the Fresno-based firm he founded in 1964. Lance-Kashian specializes in commercial real estate development, asset management and property management. The firm has developed and manages more than three million square feet of commercial space. Among the properties developed and managed by the firm are the Marketplace and Shops at River Park, Fig Garden New Town Shopping Center and the Class A office buildings, Park View Plaza, Plaza del Rio, and the Village Courtyards East and West at River Park.
Ed Kashian was born to immigrant parents in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and later moved to California with his family. He attended the University of Southern California until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy for four years. He is a Korean War veteran.
Among his numerous civic activities, Ed Kashian is chairman of the volunteer board of directors for Community Medical Systems, founder and longtime board member for the San Joaquin River Trust, a member of the Urban Land Institute, and was a two-term appointee to the San Joaquin River Conservancy Board. Most recently, California State University, Fresno presented him a Foundation Service Award to recognize his many years of service as a university supporter.
A native of the San Joaquin Valley, Jeanne Kashian was born and raised in Hanford. She graduated from CSU Fresno, where she studied to become a teacher. After teaching school for several years, she retired to raise the couple's children. The Kashians have four grown children, one of whom graduated from USC and three of whom graduated from UCLA, and two grandchildren.
UC Merced currently employs approximately 85 educators and professionals. The University's main campus in Merced is scheduled to open in 2004 to serve 1,000 students. Over the coming decades, the campus is expected to grow to a student population of 25,000. UC Merced contributes to educational access through the entire San Joaquin region via special educational and outreach centers in Fresno and Bakersfield, and the Tri-College Center in Merced. A new UC Merced center is planned for Modesto.