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An old image of Escondido from the Dan Rios Papers, a collection of photo negatives showcasing the region between 1968 and 2001. The photos are featured in the Special Collections Department at CSUSM.
CommunityNewsSan Marcos

Stone co-founder, Ecke family donate to CSUSM Special Collections

SAN MARCOS — A Stone Brewing co-founder and a prominent North County family have donated to the special collections expansion project at California State University San Marcos.

Stone co-founder Greg Koch and the Ecke family, famous for its legacy of floriculture in the region, are the lead funders for a plan to build a new public services area on the fifth floor of Kellogg Library. The donations kick off the fundraising for a project expected to cost $2.5 million.

“In a short time, we’ve made great strides to preserve the history of our region, especially that of North San Diego County, and this space will allow our communities to converge around a common purpose: to keep community stories alive,” said Jennifer Fabbi, dean of the university’s library.

The Special Collections Department at CSUSM, which houses collections that are irreplaceable or rare, has existed for about five years in a space on the first floor of the library. Because the space features only one viewing table for people to interact with the material and the collections are confined to a storage environment, there is limited opportunity to display memorabilia and engage the public and campus community with the collections.

The vision of the 8,200-square-foot renovation project, designed by San Diego architecture firm LPA, is to broaden the footprint of Special Collections and create a permanent and accessible center on the library’s fifth floor.

The new space will open with a grand entrance from the fifth-floor elevator. Off the main entrance will be the exhibit gallery, where physical and digital collection elements will be on display. The gallery will flank a central event space that can be set up for seminars, presentations or community gatherings and celebrations.

Opposite the gallery will be a reading room, a secured location for hands-on interaction with the collections and a place for research engagement.

Since its inception, the Special Collections Department has grown to include major archives like the Brewchive, a comprehensive archive of San Diego’s “third wave” craft brewing history from 1980 to the present; the Paul Ecke Ranch, Inc. Business Records and Family Papers, which features three generations of materials documenting the influence of the Ecke family on North County; and the Dan Rios Papers, which includes more than 1 million photo negatives of North County from 1968 to 2001.

“We appreciate that CSUSM recognized the importance of preserving North County’s history and is making it a priority,” said the Ecke family. “Our family’s legacy is part of that, and we like that students will have access to it and faculty members can use special collections in their classes. The exhibits area in this new space – where history will be on display – is exciting to us.”

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