Central State University will inaugurate its new $33.5M University Student Center on October 9, as part of Homecoming, 2015. Joining in the Ribbon-Cutting celebration is Mr. Earvin “Magic’’ Johnson, an internationally recognized businessman and NBA sports legend and Mr. James “Shack” Harris, one of the first African American quarterbacks drafted in the National Football League.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 10 am on Friday, Oct. 9. The state-of-the-art Student Center has 85,000 square feet and has amenities that include a 568-seat cafeteria, a convenience store and bookstore, administrative offices and other student-centered services.
Mr. Johnson, who is chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE), has successfully parlayed his skills and tenacity as a former NBA player for the Los Angeles Lakers into the business world. His unprecedented partnership with Starbucks, as the only franchisee in the history of the company, and his alliance with Sony to develop Magic Johnson Theaters have served as catalysts for redevelopment in urban communities.
For over 30 years, Mr. Johnson has developed MJE into a conglomerate that is comprised of multiple business entities and partnerships. Currently, he is a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a Major League Baseball Franchise and the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA in partnership with Guggenheim Sports and Entertainment. Mr. Johnson has controlling interests in EquiTrust, a $14 billion financial services company; ASPiRE, an African-American television network; and SodexoMAGIC, a food service and facilities management company that is the food service provider for the CSU student center. Mr. Johnson has also invested in Magic Airport Holdings and Yucaipa-Johnson, a $500 million dollar private equity fund.
Pro Bowl MVP Mr. James “Shack” Harris made history when he opened the 1969 football season as the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills after being drafted by the Bills in the eighth round. After playing on several other teams, Mr. Harris joined the front office of NFL organizations including the New York Jets, the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Mr. Harris’ post football career includes recognition by Sports Illustrated for two consecutive years (2003 and 2004) as one of the “Top-50 Most Influential Minorities in sports”; and by Black Enterprise in 2005 as “One of the most Powerful African Americans in sports.” In February 2007, William Rhoden featured Mr. Harris as a member of the Field Generals in ESPN’s “Third and a Mile: The Trials and Triumphs of the Black Quarterback.” Also Samuel Freedman featured Mr. Harris in his book Breaking The Line: The season in black college football that transformed the sport and changed the course of civil rights. In 2010, this pioneer and fellow quarterback and Super Bowl MVP, Doug Williams established the Black College Football Hall of Fame, created to preserve the legacy of HBCUs by honoring its greatest players, coaches and contributors. Mr. Harris will be the keynote speaker at the Athletic Hall of Fame Luncheon held on Friday afternoon.
For more information about all of Central State’s homecoming events, go to www.CentralState.edu/homecoming.
About Central State University
Central State University, located in Wilberforce, Ohio, is a regionally accredited 1890 Land-Grant University with a 128-year tradition of preparing students from diverse backgrounds and experiences for leadership, research and service. The University fosters academic excellence within a nurturing environment and provides a strong liberal arts foundation and STEMA curriculum leading to professional careers and advanced studies globally.