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Residence Hall Renamed Naomi Rainey House in Honor of Alumna

Naomi Rainey. Photo by Cheri Kinley

Naomi Rainey admires her namesake residence hall. Photo by Cheri Kinley

CSULB officially renamed Residence Hall C at the campus’ Hillside College in honor of university alumna and supporter Naomi Rainey-Pierson, who lived in the hall as an undergraduate student in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

“Because of her gift, future residents will have the opportunity to learn, to grow and to engage in our university in ways that students who don’t live on campus are unable to,” said Carol Roberts-Corb, CSULB’s director of housing and residential life.

“Naomi has always been a friend and she has always been there to help us,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “The list is endless throughout the years on how many things she has worked on with the university.”

Rainey-Pierson was awarded a B.A. degree in theatre arts and a minor in black studies from CSULB in 1972 and later earned two master’s degrees in education from the university. She also has seven teaching credentials.

“CSULB helped to make me a whole person, a well-rounded person,” Rainey-Pierson said. “From this university, I received far more than an excellent education. I was welcomed. I was included, nurtured and my voice was heard.

“My reason for supporting this fine institution is to show that I appreciate all that I received here, and hopefully to motivate others to do the same—to give back,” she added, noting that her support also carries out the wishes expressed in her late husband’s trust—the Paul Pierson Trust. “I truly hope that my support of CSULB will allow other young students to have the exciting experiences and the kinds of support I received, but especially the experience of living on campus in the dorms.”

The long-time educator worked in the Compton and Long Beach Unified School Districts, eventually becoming an assistant high school principal in Long Beach. She also has been president of the Long Beach chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 2000 and has received numerous awards and recognitions.