|Entrepreneur Dan Black returns to his alma mater Friday for a ceremony to mark the first campus instructional facility to be dedicated in honor of a Cal State Fullerton graduate.
September 14, 2006 :: No. 22
Entrepreneur Dan Black returns to his alma mater Friday for a ceremony to mark the first campus instructional facility to be dedicated in honor of a Cal State Fullerton graduate.
The Class of ’67 physics major and No. 1 donor to the university’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics will be feted at a 2 p.m. ceremony just outside the building that opened in 1994 as the Science Laboratory Center.
The two-story facility houses more than 50 laboratories devoted to the study of biology, chemistry and biochemistry, geological sciences and physics.
The renaming of the building was approved this spring by California State University trustees, in recognition of Black’s $4.2 million gift — a combination of cash and pledges — the largest ever to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM).
“We are proud to be naming our science building in his honor,” said Steven Murray, NSM dean. “During the last few years, Dan Black has become the model alumnus — choosing to generously give back to the college that helped shape him during his undergraduate years.”
Just six years after graduating from Cal State Fullerton, Black founded his first company, embarking on a highly successful entrepreneurial journey that he has been tapping to provide opportunities for today’s students.
He underwrites the Dan Black Program in Physics & Business that he conceived to equip physics majors with the business skills and resources needed to start their own businesses.
Launched in the fall of 2000, it’s believed to be the only program of its kind in the nation. Enrolled students, including those awarded scholarships sponsored by Black, complete a range of business courses offered by the university’s College of Business and Economics.
With venture capital he provides, the program’s senior physics majors develop business plans for new companies as part of a capstone course. Students are guided through the process by an advisory board that includes business leaders and entrepreneurs from the region.
The first student to earn a bachelor of science degree in physics with an emphasis in business graduated in June. Another is scheduled to graduate in January.
Despite the lack of business courses in his own collegiate background, a quarter-century after starting his first company, Black sold another, Advanced Medical Nutrition Inc. (AMNI), for more than $16 million. He is now president of ProThera Inc., a nutritional supplements company based in Reno. This year, ProThera’s sales will exceed those of AMNI’s — accomplishing in five years what took 25 years at his former company.
Black, a recipient of the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, joins Cal State Fullerton President Milton A. Gordon, Associated Students President Heather Williams and Murray on the roster of those scheduled to speak at tomorrow’s ceremony.
The dedication will be held on the north side of the building, the side facing McCarthy Hall — the university’s first permanent instructional facility — where Black attended classes when he was a student. Today’s NSM majors and faculty members travel back and forth from labs, classrooms and offices in the two buildings, connected by a second-floor corridor.
Dan Black Hall’s laboratories will be open for tours following the ceremony.
Steven Murray, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, 657-278-2638 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Cano Ramos, Public Affairs, 657-278-4027 or email@example.com
Paula Selleck, Public Affairs, 657-278-4856 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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