Simpson University Dedicates James M. Grant Student Life Center

For Immediate Release


James M. Grant Student Life Center

REDDING, Calif. - Simpson University hosted a special ceremony Aug. 31 to dedicate the James M. Grant Student Life Center in honor of a former president who oversaw significant campus growth from 1993-2006.

During his 13 years at Simpson, Dr. James Grant saw the student body increase from approximately 400 students to more than 1,200; and the Redding campus grow to 12 permanent buildings.

The renamed Heritage Student Life Center, which includes the gymnasium, music and athletic departments, was built in 1996. At almost 25,500 square feet, it is the third largest building on campus.

About 50 people attended the morning ceremony, which featured remarks by President Robin Dummer; Dr. Gayle Copeland, provost; Brad Williams, former executive vice president; Dr. Grant; and Dr. Jo Anne Cripe, vice chair of the Board of Trustees.

Dr. Dummer called Dr. Grant “truly the builder president.” In addition to the student life center, four residence halls, LaBaume-Rudat Hall, the Owen Student Services Center, and a maintenance building were constructed while Dr. Grant was president.

Dr. Grant, who serves as the university’s chancellor, shared some of the notable moments he associates with the student life center. The university won its first national title—in women’s volleyball—inside the center. A special chapel was held in the gym after the 9-11 terrorist attacks, as well as memorial services for three students who died.

“This building that you’re naming today is full of memories,” he said.

Dr. Grant expressed gratitude to many people, especially his wife, Hazel, who also worked at Simpson. “It would not have happened without her,” he said.

After retiring from the presidency, Dr. Grant and Hazel moved to Carbondale, Ill., where he teaches non-profit management, fundraising and marketing, and grant writing in the public administration program at Southern Illinois University; and consults in management and fundraising with emphasis on nonprofits and public organizations. The Grants have three sons and seven grandchildren.

Dr. James Grant, left, and Dr. Robin Dummer, right“It is hard to express how grateful we are,” he said. “Today when you honor me, you honor an entire family.”

The naming ceremony preceded the 15th annual Business Leadership Luncheon, which featured Dr. Grant as the speaker. Nearly 400 people attended the event, sponsored by Redding Bank of Commerce.

Photos by Ryan Belong / Dr. James Grant, left, and Dr. Robin Dummer, past and current presidents of Simpson University, respectively, enjoy time at the 15th Business Leadership Luncheon on Aug. 31. Dr. Grant was the speaker.



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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737