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April 27, 2012- A Time to Celebrate

April 27, 2012
A Time to Celebrate

All People'sIt's the end of April, and while that means that commencement is just weeks away, it also means that campus is in full celebration mode, as departments and student organizations recognize the accomplishments of their members. I recently attended two such events: the Student Athlete Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet and the All People's Celebration.

Nearly 300 student athletes, coaches and supporters filled the Clarke Field House on April 19 to mark a monumental year in the CSUSM Athletics. Every team in the athletics department ranked in the Top 35 of their respective sport this year, including six in the Top 11. Every fall sport also earned a spot in post-season play. The spring teams are on their way to doing the same. What's more, more than half of all CSUSM student athletes earned a 3.0 GPA or higher.

We also inducted the first two former CSUSM athletes into the Hall of Fame: Troy Skorma, the first recruit in 2006 for the men's soccer team, and Cara Rumble, the first individual national champion in school history (track and field). As CSUSM's Chief Cheerleader, it was truly a delight to honor the work of our students on the field and in the classroom and to recognize our outstanding coaches and athletic administrators.

President Karen HaynesA few days later, I was back at the Clarke for the seventh annual All People's Celebration. The evening's programs were festooned with pinwheels and stars to symbolize the constellation of wonderful people working together to make the university a more accepting and open campus. More than 100 dedicated students, staff, faculty and alumni were nominated for awards; a testament to how much CSUSM values diversity and inclusiveness.

Derrick Crawford, our new associate vice president for diversity and educational equity, delivered the keynote address. His remarks, and the good will and convivial spirit in the room, made for an especially enjoyable night for all in attendance.

As we near the end of the academic year, I look forward to sharing a few more of the festivities that help make this university so unique. And, of course, I can't wait to share our 2012 Commencement, the first with our reorganized colleges and new deans.