Cal State Bakersfield held an open house Thursday for the new Dr. Jacquelyn Kegley Center for Student Success, paid for with the largest gift from a faculty member in the university's history.
The center provides space for workshops, tutoring, study sessions and group advising meetings.
It also will be used for collaborative projects with other campus groups, including the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships and Student Health Services.
The 1,500-square-foot building that houses the Kegley Center isn't a new building, but the university used a $200,000 gift from Jacquelyn Kegley, a professor of philosophy, to remodel and repurpose it.
Kegley said she wanted to help build the infrastructure for academic success.
"This is one of the ways you do that," she said. "You show students that you care, and then give them the tools to succeed."
There was a real need for such a center, said CSUB President Horace Mitchell.
"As our enrollment has continued to grow, we have been running out of study space for students," he said. "Unfortunately, the state hasn't been providing a lot of money for new buildings, so we're increasingly relying on philanthropy to get things done."
The building had previously housed local researchers working on the National Children's Study, a multi-year study examining the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of children nationwide. After federal funding was reduced, however, the local portion of the research discontinued.
The new Kegley Center has offices for advisors, a small kitchenette, a computer lab with 14 laptops and a little nook for a photocopy machine and other office supplies.
Advisors were in the process of moving into their new offices on Thursday, when students and campus officials were invited to tour the facility. It was supposed to be fully operational on Friday.