Camarillo, Calif., Nov. 20, 2012 – A former parking lot will make its public debut as a scenic courtyard on Friday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m., as CSU Channel Islands (CI) dedicates the Margaret Tiplady Burgess Courtyard.

Once known as the A-9 parking lot, the half-acre space has undergone a dramatic transformation.  Thanks to the gift of Thousand Oaks philanthropist Margaret Tiplady Burgess, it has been reinvented as a courtyard oasis offering ample green space; shaded tree groves; ornate flower beds; patios, seating and walkways; and a “sensory garden” with fragrant plants and spices.  All plants are marked with placards to educate visitors on their names and origins.

“This courtyard stands as a living tribute to the impact that Margaret Burgess has had in helping CI and its students grow and flourish,” said President Richard R. Rush.  “She has left a permanent imprint on our campus through her generous support of student scholarships and this significant beautification effort.”

Burgess is also responsible for the Tiplady Burgess Endowed Scholarship, which supports a nursing student and an Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) student in their studies each year.

The dedication ceremony will offer students, faculty, staff and the public their first glimpse of the courtyard, as well as a chance to thank and honor Burgess.  In addition to naming the courtyard after her, CI will memorialize her gift by placing a special paver in the courtyard engraved with her name.

The event is open to the public, however guests are requested to RSVP before Dec. 5 to Noheli Viramontes at 805-437-3552 or noheli.viramontes@csuci.edu.  Complimentary event parking is limited and only available in the designated parking lot.  Once on campus, follow the directional signage to event parking then follow the walking signage to the event location.  Free parking is available at the Camarillo Metrolink Station/Lewis Road parking lot with bus service to and from the campus.  In order to waive bus fares, riders should present their event registration confirmation when boarding the CI Vista bus, otherwise the cash-only bus fare is $1.25 each way. Buses arrive and depart from the Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. For exact times, check the schedule at: www.goventura.org

The Margaret Tiplady Burgess Courtyard is located between the Bell Tower and Student Union buildings and adjoins the newly renovated Central Mall. It is the fifth courtyard created on campus through the support of community donors and volunteers. The courtyard also represents an ongoing University effort to create scenic, sustainable gathering spaces for campus and community use and enjoyment. The CI Foundation’s “Leave Your Mark” campaign offers supporters the opportunity to “adopt” trees and pavers in their name. For more information, contact Nichole Ipach, Assistant Vice President for University Development, at 805-437-8893 or nichole.ipach@csuci.edu.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.

The California State University (CSU) will reach a significant milestone of 3 million alumni during commencement in spring 2015 and has launched the world’s largest yearbook. The Class of 3 Million online yearbook is an interactive platform where alumni can create a profile and connect with the millions of other alumni from the 23 CSU campuses across the state. Alumni who sign up for the yearbook will also be entered into a special contest to win one of three $10,000 scholarships for a current or future student, sponsored by Herff Jones. For more information about the yearbook and the Class of 3 Million, visit https://classof3million.calstate.edu/