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California State University, Long Beach
CSULB Alumni Center Project
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Anna W. Ngai Alumni Center

Homecoming

by Ken Swisher

The new landmark, which will be built with private funding, is in an ideal location at the edge of campus, near parking, the Walter Pyramid and the Carpenter Center. The facility will include a grand welcome lobby, conference and banquet rooms, a board room, a library, alumni showcase lounge, a historical room, 49er Heritage Room, a courtyard, a Greek Row wing and alumni staff offices.

Anna came here as an international student from Hong Kong and loved her experience at Cal State Long Beach.

“I hope that the purpose of the alumni center provides an opportunity to engage and get together. Last year when I came to campus for a reunion, there was no place to meet. We met in the parking lot. The reunion had an impact on me. When we have a reunion again it will be in the alumni center,” said Anna, who earned a B.S. in finance and business administration in 1974 and supported the project with a lead gift.

“The reunion brought back so many great memories. I run into lots of alumni in the community and even overseas. In fact, my daughter’s principal is an alumnus.”

“I was fortunate to be an international student. It was the best four years of my life. I still have great memories and great friends. It’s a beautiful country and a beautiful city. I just loved this place as soon as I arrived,” Anna said. “We were always very fortunate to be successful and always thought we wanted to give back to my school. It has always been on my mind but I didn’t know what to do.”

She said it was not her intention to give to the alumni center, but realized its value to the university in terms of engaging alumni participation.

“I wanted to do something and thought this would be good. This is a great project and I’m fortunate to be a part of this. I wanted to show people that even international students should give back,” she said. “Higher education is very important and everyone should be able to get the education they want. Everything I have started here. It gave me education and a base for what I have.

“I think to be a happy person is to find ways to make other people happy. That’s what I go by. I hope this helps do that.”