PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University has announced a gift of $1.5 million from the Dimond Family Foundation to support the construction of the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture’s Schweitzer Engineering Hall on the Pullman campus.
In recognition of the family’s generous support, the auditorium to be located in the new building — currently in design — will be named Dimond Auditorium. When completed, Dimond Auditorium will host in-person and virtual classes, lectures and presentations, benefitting the college’s 4,600 students every year.
“The Dimonds are critically important and generous partners who are helping us realize our vision for student success through the college’s Building Success campaign,” said Mary Rezac, dean of the Voiland College. “We so appreciate the work of Navin Dimond, who has served and provided guidance for the college over many years, and the incredible commitment and support of the entire Dimond family in the success of our talented students.”
The Dimond Family Foundation represents the philanthropic pursuits of Navin and Rita Dimond, the founders of Stonebridge Companies, and their two daughters, Ashley and Sonja. The Denver-based, privately owned, hotel owner, operator, and developer is one of the nation’s leading hospitality companies and features a portfolio of 60 hotels across the nation under the Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Four Seasons brands.
Navin Dimond, the CEO, chairman and founder of Stonebridge, earned a BA in business administration and a BS in construction management from WSU in 1985 and was inducted into the Carson College of Business’ School of Hospitality Business Management Hall of Fame in 2022. As a member of Voiland College’s Executive Leadership Board, he has helped to guide the direction of the college while also serving on the board’s Facilities Task Force, which helped to plan for WSU’s revitalized engineering and design district on the Pullman campus. In addition to their most recent investment, the Dimonds have also established scholarships in the Carson College and the Voiland College’s School of Design and Construction.
“We are thrilled to announce the construction of the Dimond Auditorium at Washington State University,” said Navin Dimond. “It is our privilege to be part of such a distinguished lineage of benefactors whose efforts have paved the way for myself and generations of students to come to WSU and gain an invaluable education. It is my hope that the students who are educated in this building years from now share that same passion for the university and desire to impact the next generation.”
The support from the Dimond family comes within a year of several other transformational investments in new Voiland College facilities, including gifts from Edmund and Beatriz Schweitzer and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, and The Boeing Company. Construction on Schweitzer Engineering Hall is scheduled to begin in 2024 and is the first step in revamping the engineering and design district.
“The Dimond Auditorium will be an integral piece of Voiland College’s new Schweitzer Engineering Hall on the WSU Pullman campus,” said Kirk Schulz, president of WSU. “When complete, the facility will be a central hub where engineering and design students can innovate and collaborate in new spaces, including this state-of-the-art auditorium. On behalf of the entire WSU system and WSU’s students of STEM for generations to come, I extend my deepest gratitude to the Dimond family for their leadership and generosity.”
“The Dimonds are philanthropists who are playing an important role in securing the vibrance and relevance of quality public higher education in our state and region,” said Mike Connell, vice president of WSU Advancement and CEO of the WSU Foundation. “WSU is fortunate to count on their forward-thinking support and engagement — a testament to the family’s vision for a bright future for WSU students.”
For more information about WSU’s Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture and its ambitious plans to revamp its engineering and design district on the Pullman campus, visit vcea.wsu.edu/give/building-success-campaign.