CSUB Announces Harvey L. Hall Family Plaza

California State University, Bakersfield President Dr. Lynnette Zelezny announced plans on January 5  for the Harvey L. Hall Family Plaza located on the concourse of the Icardo Center.

This project will further enhance the campus’ aesthetics and will provide a more inviting gathering place for students and Roadrunner fans attending Athletics and University events at the venue.

The announcement came during halftime festivities of the Saturday night’s CSUB men’s basketball game that celebrated the birthday of Bakersfield’s 25th Mayor and noted California emergency medical services pioneer, who passed earlier this year from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

A generous, undisclosed gift from the Hall Family has made the facilities improvement possible and the project is expected to be completed prior to CSUB finalizing its move to the Big West Conference in summer of 2020.

The Harvey L. Hall Family Plaza will be symbolic of the relationship between Hall and the University, which dates back to the early 1970s when he founded Hall Ambulance Service, Inc. and began providing standby ambulance service at each of the school’s home athletic contests. That relationship has only deepened over the past 47 years.

“Harvey was so passionate about CSUB and the educational experience it provided for the student-athletes to succeed,” Lavonne C. Hall said of her late husband.  “Our family has a lot of good memories of attending Roadrunner games and this project will give his name a permanent place on the campus.”

“Harvey Hall was dedicated to Kern County, to Bakersfield, and to CSUB,” said CSU Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny.  “He, his wonderful wife Lavonne and the rest of his family loved to support CSUB athletics, so it is only fitting that the Hall family will now have a permanent tribute at the entrance to the Icardo Center.  Their transformational gift will enable CSUB to continue to be outstanding in service to our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community.”

The open space will feature a two-tone brick walkway that will be highlighted by a bronze Roadrunner monument near the south side parking lot.  Park benches, trees, and landscape will complete the renovation.  Harvey L. Hall Plaza signage will be prominently displayed on the monument as well as on the exterior of the Icardo Room building.

Avid Roadrunner Basketball fans, the Hall Family could always be seen courtside during home games and enjoyed traveling to Las Vegas each year for the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament donning their blue and gold apparel, including Hall’s custom CSUB leather jacket.

“Harvey was good friends with the coaches and enjoyed one on one time with the athletes and having conversations with them,” Hall said.

“I want to thank Lavonne, Amy, and the entire Hall family for their transformational gift,” said Kenneth “Ziggy” Siegfried, Director of Athletics at CSUB. “The Harvey L. Hall Family Plaza will be an inviting area where memories will be made for many years to come. Mayor Hall is truly missed by all of us, but his memory will live on for many years to come on the campus of CSU Bakersfield. It is a great time to be a `Runner!”

Hall is credited with playing a key role in the athletics department’s move from NCAA Division II to Division I status, which was realized in 2007. During Hall Ambulance’s 45th anniversary in 2016, Hall and his wife donated eight automated external defibrillators to CSUB Athletics, one for each of the department’s eight sports facilities.

His relationship with the University and higher education extended beyond athletics as evidenced by Hall donating his salary as Mayor to award more than $250,000 to nearly 300 community college and CSUB students.

CSUB has recognized Hall’s accomplishments and impact on the Bakersfield community on more than one occasion.  In 2010, the CSUB School of Business and Public Administration Executive Advisory Council honored then-Mayor Hall with the prestigious John Brock Community Service Award for his strong record of exemplary community engagement and service.

In 2014, CSUB President Horace Mitchell presented Mayor Hall with the CSUB President’s Award for his leadership, commitment, and service to the University and the community; and, in 2017, President Mitchell conferred upon Hall an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his lifetime of selfless service, leadership, philanthropy, and distinguished achievements.

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