February 27, 2012
A Week of Celebration
Cal State San Marcos is never at a standstill, and that was certainly true last week. The campus was abuzz with good will and celebrations, from the nearly 70 Campus Connect alumni who gathered for lunch to the groundbreaking for the new Student Union to a reception for our student research competition finalists and even more events.
On February 22, Campus Connect alumni came together at their annual luncheon to share their experiences in the program and how it has enabled them to move forward personally and professionally. The spirit of the participants was truly infectious as they discussed the meaningful partnerships and projects they have launched because of the program. I sincerely believe that connecting departments, advocating for one another, and having open discourse is what makes our university stronger and gives us our unique character.
The following day, I began my morning in the most festive of ways … with a groundbreaking for the new Student Union. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, administrators and numerous friends and supporters of the university joined us to mark the start of an 18-month project that will transform our university and the entire region. When complete, the Student Union will be the heart of this community, a place for students to relax and gather and for our neighbors to more personally engage with the university.
Later that evening, nearly 200 students and benefactors filled the Grand Salon at the Clarke Field House. It was a magical evening of conversation and giving thanks — thanks to our supporters for their generosity in creating and donating to scholarships, and thanks to our students for exceeding all expectations. I left the event greatly uplifted by the caring and committed community that exists at and around CSUSM.
That same feeling carried me through a lunch held the next day on campus in honor of African American history month. People from across the university and the region enjoyed good conversation and even better food courtesy of the CSUSM African American Faculty and Staff Association. To see all of the smiling faces and hear all of the positive stories being shared made me tremendously proud to be part of the CSUSM family.
So, too, did congratulating the students gathered Friday night for the 16th Annual Student Research Competition reception. Seeing their exemplary work and commitment to scholarly pursuits was a highlight of the week’s activities. There is so much potential and promise among CSUSM students.
The same could be said for many students in our region. I spent Sunday morning, February 26, encouraging African American students to earn their college degrees. My message was part of the Cal State University system’s seventh annual “Super Sunday,” where CSU presidents and administrators visit predominately African American churches to talk about the importance of higher education. I had the privilege of speaking to the congregation at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Oceanside. From the service to the warm hospitality, it was the perfect ending to a super week of CSUSM celebrations.