Generations of generosity honored as building renamed for the Jost family

By wayne.steffen on May 2, 2017 @ 10:19am

Generosity and patience were celebrated April 27, 2017, at the renaming of Fresno Pacific University’s largest building.

More than 70 administrators, faculty, staff and students gathered to celebrate making East Hall into Chester & Clella Jost Family Hall (Jost Hall). Opened in 1998, the five-story structure houses student residences, faculty and department offices, classrooms and a lounge for commuter students.

In opening remarks on the green in front of the hall’s south entrance, Mark Isaac, vice president for advancement and university relations, called financial supporters as much a part of FPU as those who walk the campus each day, though they are less visible. “This gives us the opportunity to see the faces of our donors,” he said.

Chester Jost founded what would become Jost Carpet One in Bakersfield in 1946. In the 1990s his sons David and Duane bought the company. Chester died in 2004 and Clella in 2005. David graduated from FPU and Duane and their sister Diane (Wiesinger) both attended; David’s children Andrea (Dobbins) and Jason also graduated.

Don Griffith, chair of the FPU Board of Trustees, thanked the descendants present. “God has been faithful to you, and you have been faithful to God,” he said. On hand were David Jost and wife Carol, Duane Jost and sons Ryan and Troy, and Diane's daughter, Melanie David. (Not able to attend were Duane’s wife, Cher; and Diane and her husband, Mickey Wiesinger.)

Generosity and connection to FPU are traditions for the Josts, according to Mark Deffenbacher, executive director of the FPU Foundation. In all, the family has given nearly $4 million to FPU in 600 separate gifts, he said. Chester also served on the university board. “I was fortunate enough to receive advice and affirmation from Chester and Clella on numerous occasions and fondly remember their kindness and instruction,” he said. “Thankfully, the warm relationship with the family has continued.”

FPU President Richard Kriegbaum, Ph.D., pointed out that Jost Hall, like other accomplishments at FPU, have required both benevolence and endurance. “Every single thing that happens here takes resources. They also take patient determination,” he said.

Ground was broken for the building in 1997, Kriegbaum recalled. Among the problems that came up after the first shovels turned the dirt of what had been the campus tennis courts was getting the proper permits from the City of Fresno for a building so tall—and still the tallest in the area. Shared faith and a spirit of partnership eventually won the day. “Delay eventually turns into delight, and that’s what we to enjoy today,” Kriegbaum said. “Jost family, thank you for being with us for the whole trip.”

Before closing the event in prayer, Terry Brensinger, Ph.D., president of the Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and vice president of FPU, offered one more word of thanks. “As I go through my life, I appreciate people like you more and more,” he said.

PHOTO: Don Griffith (left) and Richard Kriegbaum unveil the plaque renaming East Hall to Jost Hall while members of the Jost family look on. From left, they are: Melanie David, Troy Jost, Duane Jost, Carol Jost, David Jost and Ryan Jost.