Board of Trustees Approves Naming of Viasat Engineering Pavilion
The California State University Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved the renaming of Cal State San Marcos’ Foundation Classroom Building as the Viasat Engineering Pavilion.
The name change recognizes the $1.5 million gift from Viasat and several of its employees to become the founding partner of CSUSM’s engineering program. Viasat’s gift is helping the university renovate classroom and lab space, purchase new equipment and instrumentation, and support the work of students and faculty.
“The Viasat Engineering Pavilion will be a focal point of pioneering our software and electrical engineering programs, an incubator for development, and a gateway to the future for our students,” CSUSM President Ellen Neufeldt said.
The Foundation Classroom Building was built in 1998 and was home to CSUSM’s Extended Learning program before the opening of the new Extended Learning Building last month. The first phase of the Viasat Engineering Pavilion renovation – creating software and electrical engineering labs and a collaborative space – was completed in August. The second phase, which will create offices and the Hunter Design Lab, will begin in October and will be completed in January.
“We at Viasat believe that diverse ways of thinking and collaboration will help solve global challenges,” said Simon Kuo, vice president, corporate quality at ViaSat. “Partnerships like this foster the innovation, inspiration and growth necessary for the future of our region. We are proud to have our name associated with the university’s engineering program.”
Viasat has been a longtime supporter of numerous programs across CSUSM, and the company has been an especially strong supporter of the university’s College of Science and Mathematics.
“Viasat is engaged with CSUSM and our community for the common good, moving forward together to enhance the intellectual and economic life of our region and the state,” said Katherine Kantardjieff, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. “Viasat believes in the university’s importance in our region’s success. It has recognized CSUSM as the four-year university in North County, and it has helped the College of Science and Mathematics build our brand and identity as a hub and a catalyst for workforce development and technical innovation.”
Carlsbad-based Viasat is one of the largest employers in the region and employs many CSUSM graduates in several of its divisions.
“It has been inspiring for us to see – and be part of – the launch of engineering at the university,” Kuo said. “As a member of the advisory council for the College of Science and Mathematics, I saw how the engineering program started, from early conversations about vision to implementation to seeing the Engineering Pavilion become a reality.”
Software engineering launched at CSUSM in fall 2018 and electrical engineering followed this past August. The engineering program already has enrolled more than 125 students, 34% of whom are Hispanic.
“Perhaps the biggest contribution to our future workforce is the work that Viasat is doing with CSUSM to develop signature engineering programs that address critical workforce needs,” Kantardjieff said. “Viasat’s major financial gift to our new engineering programs indicates a shared commitment to building a regional comprehensive university that meets the needs of our region and the state. Today, with Viasat’s support, we offer engineering programs of exceptional quality that are providing transformational and life-changing opportunities for our students.”
About California State University San Marcos
Building on an innovative 29-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the City of San Marcos, it is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego, Southwest Riverside and South Orange counties.
The University enrolls more than 16,000 students. With approximately 2,000 employees, the institution is a Great College to Work For® (The Chronicle of Higher Education). As a recipient of the annual HEED Award since 2014 — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — CSUSM is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment.