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University Advancement

Contact: John Chandler
o. (818) 677-5674 / c. (818) 822-7852
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Public Relations and Strategic Communications


CSU Trustees Approve Naming Northridge Arts College for Mike Curb
Record Company Owner and Former Lt. Gov. is CSUN Distinguished Alumnus

The university’s Mike Curb Web site is located at

(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Sept. 20, 2006) -- The California State University Board of Trustees today unanimously approved naming the arts college at California State University, Northridge for record company owner and former California Lt. Gov. Mike Curb, a Northridge alumnus who had his first commercial success as a student on the campus.

Cal State Northridge President Jolene Koester had asked the trustees to approve the naming in recognition of Curb’s substantial support for the arts at the university. Northridge has scheduled a campus ceremony for Wednesday, Nov. 8, to dedicate the new Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication.

"Mike Curb has had a long and distinguished career in the music industry and in public service," President Koester said. "He has set a fine example for our students, achieving both great commercial success in the business world and matching that with generous philanthropy in support of the arts and, in particular, music and music education programs."

"I am very proud and honored to be affiliated with the exceptional arts programs at Cal State Northridge," said Curb, who is chairman of Nashville-based Curb Records. "I had my first commercial success in the music industry while attending the Northridge campus, and I hope my support for the college will pave the way for future generations of very talented students."

Earlier this year, Curb, a recipient of the university’s 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award, pledged $10 million to endow his alma mater’s nationally renowned arts college and provide a lead gift for the university’s Imagine the Arts fundraising campaign to build a regional performing arts center that will serve as a "learning laboratory’ for students.

The pledge by Curb is the university’s largest single cash contribution and its largest gift from a Northridge alumnus. The award-winning songwriter, music producer and record company owner launched his 40-plus-year music industry career as an 18-year-old student on the Northridge campus in 1962-63.

Of the $10 million gift, $5 million will support CSUN’s exceptional arts college, one of the university’s largest colleges that offers cutting-edge programs for more than 4,400 students. Four million of that will fund a general endowment for the college, and $1 million will endow a faculty chair specializing in music industry studies.

The other $5 million will support the university’s planned 1,700-seat performing arts center as a "learning laboratory" for CSUN students. The gift ranks as the largest yet in the university’s fundraising campaign for the $100 million project, which will become the cultural heart of the region with a regional performing arts center and other planned facilities.

The performing arts center is due to start construction in fall 2007 and open during 2009. The performing arts center will be the largest venue of its kind in the San Fernando Valley region. Project funding will come about half from state funds and about half from private fundraising such as the gift from Curb.

It was as a freshman on the Northridge campus, working in the music building, that Curb wrote the breakthrough song that helped launch his career — "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda (Go Little Honda)" -- and founded his first record company, a predecessor to Curb Records. He left college in 1963 as his success in the music business began building.

Today, as chairman/owner of Curb Records, Curb presides over one of the nation’s largest and oldest independent record labels. His Nashville, Tenn.-based company has produced more than 250 No. 1 records and launched the careers of scores of stars, including LeAnn Rimes, Tim McGraw, Wynonna Judd, "American Idol" finalist Kimberley Locke, Hank Williams Jr. and the Osmonds.

Curb has written more than 400 songs and composed or supervised the music for more than 50 motion picture soundtracks. Those have included the hit "Wild Angels" starring Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra, the Billy Jack movie "The Born Losers," the Clint Eastwood movie "Kelly’s Heroes" and its theme "Burning Bridges," and other films featuring Frank Sinatra, George C. Scott, Bette Davis, Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mike Myers, among others.

Curb also founded and led The Mike Curb Congregation vocal group, produced 25 gold or platinum-selling records, and has received numerous music industry awards, including the prestigious Producer of the Year Award from Billboard magazine in 1972. He also won election as California’s lieutenant governor from 1979 to 1983, and served about one year as acting governor.

Because Curb’s pledge will be structured as an endowment, the earnings from his gift will provide a permanent revenue source to the arts college. The Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication includes the departments of art, cinema and television arts, communication studies, journalism, music, theatre and public radio station KCSN 88.5 FM.

With its prime location and strong reputation, the college has produced many alumni who have achieved great success in the entertainment and media industries. They include Alex Yemenidjian, former chairman/CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., CNBC anchors Bill Griffeth, Sue Herera and Ron Insana, actors Cheech Marin and Debra Winger, composer Diane Warren, musicians Tom Scott and Grant Geissmann, and opera stars Carol Vaness and Michelle De Young.

California State University, Northridge has 33,000 full- and part-time students and offers 62 bachelor’ and 50 master’s degrees as well as 28 teaching credential programs. Founded in 1958, CSUN is among the largest single-campus universities in the nation and the only four-year public university in the San Fernando Valley. The university serves as the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Valley and beyond.

California State University, Northridge at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330 / Phone: 818-677-1200 / © 2006 CSU Northridge