California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) has received a three-year, $500,000 matching grant from the Beavers Charitable Trust to establish an endowment for a Professor of Practice in Heavy Civil Construction.
The professorship will be in the CSULB College of Engineering. CSULB is the first university in California and only one of five in the nation to receive this grant.
The Beavers Professorship is designed to enhance interest in civil and construction engineering at CSULB and also to expand opportunities, most notably through student internships with Beaver-affiliated companies, for hands-on learning. Also, an endowed professorship is expected to strengthen the pipeline of highly skilled heavy construction practitioners to create the next generation of construction engineering leaders to conceive and create the highways, bridges, rail corridors and dams in the nation.
“This new addition will enable us to deliver highly qualified graduates who combine technical knowledge in heavy civil construction with modern business practices and societal concern,” said Forouzan Golshani, dean of the CSULB College of Engineering. “A by-product of this significant development is enhanced partnerships between CSULB and the heavy civil construction industry, particularly those that serve the port area and its infrastructure.”
Ralph Larison, a trustee of the Beavers Charitable Trust and a friend of the university, is spearheading the process of appealing to alumni, industry partners and other friends to help raise the matching funds for the grant. Nearly $150,000 of contributions have already been promised or received.
“I’m very pleased and excited to play a role in providing financial assistance in the creation of The Beavers Endowed Professor of Practice at the College of Engineering at California State University at Long Beach. I look forward to meeting our financial goals well ahead of schedule,” said Larison, who is also on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the College of Engineering.
The professorship will help develop and enhance partnerships with the heavy civil construction industry to provide hands-on learning for students, help shape curriculum and research, increase internships and provide scholarship funds.
The Beavers Charitable Trust has given generously to the College of Engineering over the years and has an endowed Beavers Heavy Construction scholarship fund at CSULB. Founded in 1955, the Beavers is a social, honorary organization formed, organized and managed by the construction companies and individuals who are or have engaged in heavy engineering construction.
The purpose of the Beavers is to promote goodwill, friendliness and consideration within the heavy engineering construction industry; to give recognition to those men and women who have demonstrated particular skill, responsibility and integrity; and to encourage and support entry of promising young individuals into heavy engineering construction.