Commencing with change
Dear Alumni and Friends,
In June, we celebrated my favorite time of year: commencement. It is such an exciting and momentous event for students and our CSUEB community. The University graduated 3,500 students and introduced several exciting program changes to the commencement exercises, including combining ceremonies for the four colleges.
This year’s larger commencement ceremonies created a wonderful sense of community focused on the accomplishments of the Class of 2013. We were able to give graduate students special recognition with a hooding ceremony for the first time. Undergraduates celebrated with friends in other colleges and enjoyed the company of faculty and classmates at college receptions. Our Concord Campus ceremony was much bigger and livelier as well, allowing all of our graduates to share in the amazing energy. We also streamed the ceremonies via the Internet and had over 27,000 views watched by friends and family across the world. I hope you enjoy viewing the gallery of photos in the middle of the magazine highlighting our three ceremonies.
You may recall that in our last issue of Cal State East Bay Magazine I wrote about the excitement generated in the campus community by our strategic planning process which led to a statement of our core values and commitments as the regional University for the East Bay.
During this past academic year we have moved into a new planning phase called Planning for Distinction, engaging the university community in a challenging dialogue about the relative strengths of our programs. While our budget future appears to be improving, we need to plan carefully about where to deploy resources to provide the greatest benefit not only for present and future students but also to better serve our entire region.
I am enthused by the appointment of our new Chancellor Tim White ’72, who visited the University shortly after his appointment. You’ll get to know him better through the profile starting on page 42. As head of the largest system of higher education in the nation, Dr. White epitomizes the theme of this edition of the magazine, “Bold voyagers: Pioneers at the forefront of their fields,” featuring forward-thinking alumni, faculty and students working at the leading edge of their industries and disciplines. In addition to Scott Chambliss ’85, who demonstrates how STEM disciplines are integrated into the professional life of a theatre major who has become a production designer for major Hollywood films, you’ll meet two faculty members, one a physicist, the other a political scientist, who are applying new technologies to promote knowledge in their respective areas of expertise.
Similarly, CSUEB students are employing high tech tools to help solve daunting social problems, as you’ll learn in the story on page 24 about a team of MBA students developing a mobile phone-based nano loans program to fight third world hunger.
In a few short weeks we will warmly welcome first-time freshmen, new transfers and graduate students to CSUEB, many the first in their families to attend a college or university. We will also be welcoming back our continuing students. My hope is that all of them will embrace and build upon CSUEB’s Pioneer spirit as our vibrant and diverse community reaches for the stars.
Leroy M. Morishita