Cal State East Bay is off to an exciting start to the school year, with news of national honors, significant contributions, and a celebration of the start of our first comprehensive campaign.
At Fall Faculty and Staff Convocation, I spoke about how our university is “ready to soar” and the accomplishments in improving our graduation rates, building back faculty ranks, and the upcoming challenges of balancing our highest numbers of student enrollment while maintaining academic quality. Part of the solution lies in ensuring the success stories each of us hear reach outside our campus walls —through Inside East Bay, I’m pleased to share some of our most recent accomplishments.
Alumnus and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for the Library of Congress Gene Luen Yang (MS ’03) received a coveted MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant for his outstanding contributions as a graphic novelist and cartoonist. As someone with a personal connection to Gene (he taught one of my sons in high school), I am so pleased to see his groundbreaking work rewarded with such a prestigious honor.
Cal State East Bay was also named to the President’s Honor Roll for Community Service—the first year we have received such a designation. This is the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to community, service-learning and civic engagement.
One of our key programs, the Hayward Promise Neighborhood initiative, has been awarded a $500,000 grant from AT&T. The grant will allow HPN to continue their critically important work strengthening the academic pathway for the city of Hayward’s students and residents.
In September, we held a kick-off gala on campus to celebrate the start of our first comprehensive campaign: Rising in the East. Our university truly shined in front of over 400 supporters of our students, staff, and faculty. Whether or not you were there, you can rest assured that the audience was deeply moved by the Solar Suitcase faculty presentation and musical performance by student Roberto Granados. As they shared their stories, I felt an enormous sense of pride in the work each of us do, every day.
At the gala, I was pleased to announce a $10M initiative that will be a primary focus during the remainder of the campaign. We are launching a public/private partnership to build a new, centrally located facility — part modern library and part learning center for the new millennium. The $10M will be used to supplement funds from a CSU bond, originally intended to renovate our current library.
I believe this facility will serve as the entrepreneurial heart of the campus, transforming our capacity to engage with one another and innovate. Together as a campus community we will determine exactly what this space wants and needs to be. So stay tuned.
It was a truly magical moment to see Cal State East Bay in the spotlight and I hope you share my excitement and enthusiasm for our collective future. Our goal of $60 million is ambitious, but with half of that amount already raised, we are well-positioned to achieve our goals by 2019.