The Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Student Union (LSU) at California State University, Dominguez Hills, was created to serve students and the larger community of CSUDH, with the intent of providing co-curricular education, an environment in which students can develop and call their own.
After a student referendum was passed, The California State University began collecting fees for a Student Union building in 1985. This action in conjunction with a campus fundraising campaign entitled FutureNow garnered substantial support for the student union project.
In 1989, a ground-breaking ceremony was held and construction of the union facility commenced. Present at the groundbreaking and throughout the life of the project were Donald P. & Katherine B. Loker. Donald Loker, an alumnus of Harvard and Katherine Loker, an alumna of University of Southern California. Mr. &. Mrs. Loker supported the Student Union passionately.
After a three-year construction period, the Donald P. & Katherine B Loker University Student Union, Inc. opened its doors. The two-story building upon completion was approx. 67,000 sq. ft. Louis Anderson served as the first LSU Director.
Twelve years later, in 2004, a facility renovation was moved up due to a fire in the University Bookstore. It was determined by the Board of Directors that the organization would take the opportunity at hand to facilitate an expansion project. The expansion provided extensive renovations to the original space, which includes the lower level floor. The south end of the main floor that houses the bookstore was also slated to grow in size. Moreover, the project included the addition of entire third floor convention-style ballroom and meeting rooms and a larger main second floor food court that today includes Johnny’s Pizza, Toro Takeout, Taco Bell/A&W, Union Grind, Subway, Panda Express, DH Sports Lounge and Club 1910 restaurant.
Finally, a multi-level courtyard was planned to simultaneously separate and connect the two buildings. This outdoor common area would be a place for students and faculty to interact, enjoy plentiful daylight and have a visual connection to the campus around them.
Overall, the project nearly doubled the building’s size to 121,042 sq. ft. $4 million of the LSU’s $34.3 million expansion cost was contributed by Katherine B. Loker.
In 2007, the building re-opened its doors. The façade to the union, prominently seen from Victoria Street, has become a university landmark and is an identifiable icon on the campus of CSU Dominguez Hills. CSU Dominguez Hills and architects Cannon Design were recognized in 2011 with an Association of College Unions International (ACUI), Facility Design Award, honored for not only the building’s physical appearance, but also how the design concept was developed and how the improvements affected the campus.
Today, the LSU houses the University Bookstore, Campus Dining, and Associated Students, Inc., the Office of Student Life and Department of Multicultural Affairs. Most recently, four affinity centers have also been established in the building amid a plethora of services and programs.
More than a building, the Loker Student Union is the center and soul of campus life. From design to function, the facility includes a variety of spaces to create a sense of community, expand the avenues through which the university educates students and enhance the quality of daily life for the students/alumni, faculty, staff and guests.