San Jose State University Celebrates Completion of the Spartan Golf Complex

The men's and women's golf teams at the groundbreaking of the Spartan Golf Complex in May 2016 (Photo by: Neal Waters, ’07 Geography, ’16 MS Mass Communications)

The men’s and women’s golf teams at the groundbreaking of the Spartan Golf Complex in May 2016 (Photo: Neal Waters, ’’07 Geography, ’’16 MS Mass Communications).

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations Director, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics Media Relations Director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu

San Jose, Calif. — San Jose State University will celebrate the completion of the Spartan Golf Complex at an event planned for 10:30 a.m. June 1. Among the first significant renovations to South Campus athletics facilities in recent years, the privately-funded project was made possible by a $5 million gift from alumni Rich and Cindy Thawley and multiple gifts from other donors.

“San Jose State University is thrilled to open a golf facility that will benefit student athletes, the broader university community and our neighbors,” Athletics Director Marie Tuite said. “This project is a significant milestone in our efforts to revitalize all campus facilities for academics, athletics and extracurricular activities.”

The opening of the 15-acre, $10.2 million complex, one year after construction began, will be preceded by a short program featuring President Mary A. Papazian, Tuite, Rich and Cindy Thawley, members of the men’s and women’s golf teams and their coaches. The facility is located at 579 E. Alma Ave. This event is open to the university community, the public and the media.

The power of philanthropy

Cindy and Rich Thawley (Photo: Courtesy of the Thawley family)

Cindy and Rich Thawley (courtesy of the Thawley family)

College sweethearts, Rich and Cindy have been married since 1979. They met at Cindy’s sorority house, when Rich was running what would prove to be a successful campaign for student body president. Rich also worked in San Jose State Athletics as an associate athletics director.

Rich and Cindy started their extended career in the life insurance and securities business in 1980. Early on, they helped to develop a company known today as Primerica Financial Services. In 1991, they left Primerica and founded a company now known as World Financial Group.

“The generosity of the Thawleys and other donors demonstrates the power of philanthropy to advance San Jose State University’s impact in and beyond our community,” Vice President for Advancement Paul Lanning said.

New facilities

Spartan Golf Complex near completion (Photo: Courtesy of Spartan Athletics).

The Spartan Golf Complex near completion (photo courtesy of Spartan Athletics).

After a ribbon cutting, guests will be invited to a ceremonial first swing. Two grass tee areas will provide hitting positions for 80 golfers. In addition, the complex will offer two large tour-quality putting greens, three bunkers, and two chipping greens. Three target greens will be positioned in a 400-yard-long driving range for distance hitting practice.

Blach Construction and Gensler served as general contractor and architect, respectively. Fundraising is underway now for phase 2, which will include a clubhouse with a fitness center, locker room and coaches’ offices.

Other recently completed South Campus projects include a new field for the men’s and women’s soccer teams and the Stephens Family Pitching and Hitting Facility for the baseball team.

A rich history

San Jose State’s men’s and women’s golf programs have rich histories. Since college golf first became a NCAA sport in 1897, and with the addition of women’s golf to the NCAA’s championship calendar starting in 1982, the Spartans are one of only nine programs to claim a NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship and Division I Women’s Golf Championship. The Spartans are one of 11 schools with a NCAA individual men’s champion and women’s champion.

Professionally, San Jose State alumni have 131 victories on the PGA, LPGA, Champions, Nationwide and PGA Tour Canada tours. Spartan golfers can claim 23 major and United States Golf Association (USGA) championships through 2016. Ken Venturi, Juli Inkster and Patty Sheehan have major championship victories as part of their World Golf Hall of Fame careers. Mark Hubbard, ’11 Business Management, is the latest Spartan to join the PGA Tour.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.


About San Jose State University Athletics

San Jose State University’s athletics program sponsors 20 NCAA Division I sports (7 men’s and 13 women’s) and offers an intercollegiate athletics experience to at least 450 student-athletes annually. The Spartans compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest level of college football. San Jose State is a member of the Mountain West — a conference of 12 football-playing schools in the Pacific, Mountain and Hawaiian time zones.

 

San Jose State University Launches Institute, Convenes Town Hall on Athlete Activism

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA–San Jose State University today will announce the launch of the SJSU Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change at “From Words to Action,” a town hall meeting featuring sports, media and social leaders discussing the past, present and future of athlete activism.

“San Jose State is the ideal home for a center of academic and research excellence and community engagement focused on sport, activism and social change,” SJSU President Mary Papazian said. “We are thrilled to welcome so many luminaries to San Jose today, and we look forward to building an institute that will enable and empower voices representing diverse viewpoints.”

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Hammer Theatre Center in downtown San Jose. A live stream will be available here. The event is sold out.

Leaders and legends

Today’s event brings together many of the nation’s leading voices in athlete activism, from the early moments of the civil rights movement to the present. Two panel discussions will feature seven world-class athletes:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member, six-time league MVP
  • Anquan Boldin, 2015 NFL Man of the Year
  • Jim Brown, Pro Football Hall of Fame member, three-time league MVP
  • Danielle Slaton, 2000 Olympics silver medalist, soccer
  • Tommie Smith, 1968 Olympics gold medalist, 200 meters, track and field, SJSU alumnus
  • Takeo Spikes, two-time NFL All-Pro
  • Chris Webber, five-time NBA All-Star

More leaders and legends will attend today’s event:

  • Al Guido, San Francisco 49ers president
  • Ronnie Lott, Pro Football Hall of Fame member, eight-time NFL All-Pro
  • Marti Malloy, 2012 bronze medalist, judo, SJSU alumna
  • Jared Shawlee, San Jose Earthquakes chief operating officer
  • Keena Turner, San Francisco 49ers vice president of football affairs and retired 49ers linebacker
  • Jed York, San Francisco 49ers CEO

“We are proud to partner with SJSU alumnus Harry Edwards, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, several Bay Area professional sports franchises and others in staging today’s event,” said SJSU Vice President for University Advancement Paul Lanning. “We have assembled an impressive group of men and women who have leveraged their careers in sports to push for social change.”

The heart and soul of an institute

At the heart of today’s event and the SJSU Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change is Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology. This SJSU record-setting discus thrower and former faculty member rose to prominence as the spokesperson for the Olympic Project for Human Rights. The initiative inspired SJSU student-athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith to take their stand at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

Edwards earned a doctoral degree from Cornell University; served for three decades as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley; and served as counselor and adviser to the 49ers, Major League Baseball, the University of Florida and many more professional and collegiate organizations seeking to provide all athletes with a foundation for success.

SJSU’s institute represents Edwards’ vision for an academic center that sponsors research and dialogue on issues at the intersection of sport and society, and leverages the power of sport as an agent for positive social change. Pending review by the SJSU Academic Senate and SJSU Office of the Provost, the multi-disciplinary institute will have three focus areas:

  • sport and social justice curriculum and research;
  • continuing education and experiential learning activities; and
  • community engagement, commencing with today’s event.

“I am proud to see an academic institute devoted to the study of sport, society and social change established at my alma mater,” Edwards said. “SJSU has historically been at the forefront of social justice issues, and there is no better place for that work to be undertaken, and no better time for us to begin than right now.”

SJSU and RISE: A common purpose

Founded in 2015 by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) seeks to harness the unifying power of sports to improve race relations and drive social progress.

RISE CEO Jocelyn Benson will moderate a panel discussion, and she will preview a special report that will be presented in full during the Super Bowl 51 weekend in Houston. The report will analyze the activism of NFL athletes in 2016 and make recommendations for a path forward that will ensure a sustained impact.

“RISE is grateful for the opportunity to partner with San Jose State University in elevating the conversation surrounding sports and social action,” Benson said. “This is essential to our mission. We are looking forward to being a part of the development of SJSU’s institute as a way to create more opportunities for richer, deeper dialogue.”

Draymond Green and “Sideline Racism”

During today’s event, a unique pair of Nike sneakers will take center stage. Emblazoned with the words “Sideline Racism” near the swoosh, and stamped with the RISE logo across the back, these shoes were worn by Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green at a Dec. 3 game against the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

In a pre-recorded video, Green will offer a greeting. The shoes will be donated to the Dr. Harry Edwards Collection: Sport, Society and Social Change at San Jose State. The collection includes historic photos, autographed books, Olympic Project for Human Rights memorabilia, and correspondence from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama.

SJSU Special Collections and Archives will curate the collection, in alignment with the research component of the SJSU Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change.

Carrying this work forward

San Jose State is grateful for the generous support for today’s program provided by the San Francisco 49ers and CEO Jed York, and the continuing generous support for programs for community and civic betterment provided by Denise DeBartolo York, John York and the York family. The Golden State Warriors, San Jose Sharks and San Jose Earthquakes have provided critical guidance and assistance.

A 13-member advisory board will carry forward the SJSU institute’s work, which will be informed by members of SJSU’s faculty with interest and expertise in various related disciplines.

“These times call for thoughtful, courageous research and education in the arenas of social justice and human rights,” said SJSU Associate Professor and Human Rights Program Director William Armaline. “I am committed, along with my colleagues, to enriching the work of this institute and to extending its reach and impact.”


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

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SJSU to Launch Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change

Media Advisory

(This event is sold out for the general public. Reporters should contact SJSU Media Relations for more information.)

Who:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Basketball Hall of Famer, six-time league MVP
Anquan Boldin, 2015 NFL Man of the Year
Jim Brown, Pro Football Hall of Famer, three-time league MVP
Danielle Slaton, 2000 Olympics silver medalist, soccer
Tommie Smith, 1968 Olympics gold medalist, 200 meters, SJSU alumnus
Takeo Spikes, two-time NFL All-Pro
Chris Webber, five-time NBA All-Star
Jocelyn Benson, Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality CEO
Harry Edwards, sports sociologist, SJSU alumnus
Al Guido, San Francisco 49ers President
Mary Papazian, SJSU President

What:
Sports legends, leaders and academics will participate in a dialogue about athlete activism.

San Jose State will launch the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change, building on the university’s rich civil rights history.

The Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality will provide an overview of preliminary findings for “When Colin Knelt: Athletes and Activism in the NFL in 2016.” The report will be released in full at this year’s Super Bowl.

When:
8:30 a.m. – noon, Jan. 24, 2017
(agenda)

Where:
Hammer Theatre Center in downtown San Jose
(parking information)

Media contacts:
Robin McElhatton, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1749
Pat Harris, pat.harris@sjsu.edu, 408-924-1748

Members of the media should RSVP now. Journalists must be credentialed to attend the event and a news conference at noon. The event and news conference will be streamed live on the university’s website.

More information:
http://www.sjsu.edu/wordstoaction/


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

SJSU and CEFCU Announce Partnership Agreement For Spartan Stadium

Media contacts:
• Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations Director, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu
• Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics Media Relations Director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu
• Janā Stevens, CEFCU Community Relations Manager, 309-633-3675, jstevens@cefcu.com

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University and the Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) have forged an $8.7 million, 15-year partnership agreement to rename the football stadium.

“CEFCU Stadium — Home of the Spartans” will host its first football game Sept. 10 against Portland State. The California State University Board of Trustees approved the stadium renaming and broader agreement at its July 19 meeting.

“We are very pleased to extend and enhance our relationship with CEFCU to include the naming of the stadium. Since 2011, CEFCU has been a loyal partner with San Jose State Athletics and we’ve valued its presence in Spartan Stadium. Today’s announcement is a long-term extension of our ongoing relationship with CEFCU,” Athletics Director Gene Bleymaier said about the renaming of the 30,456-seat venue built in 1933.

This is the only such agreement for a football stadium in the California State University system and one of three in the Mountain West Conference.

“There are many opportunities to invest in student success here at San Jose State,” University Advancement Vice President Paul Lanning said. “We hope this partnership motivates other Silicon Valley institutions—public and private—to join with us.”

The agreement will help with the funding of scholarship commitments for student-athletes, support and strengthen athletics operations, and improve the stadium and other facilities.

“CEFCU has been proud to support San Jose State University for many years. Since community involvement is extremely important to CEFCU, this new opportunity allows us to continue to support San Jose State through an even stronger partnership while furthering our commitment to the San Jose community. CEFCU is honored to be associated with an institution that excels in both academics and athletics,” CEFCU Community President Mark Hoffmire said.


About CEFCU

As a community credit union, CEFCU is pleased to serve anyone living, working, or worshipping in Alameda, Contra Costa or Santa Clara counties in California. CEFCU was founded on the idea of savers helping borrowers and borrowers helping savers. With assets of nearly $5.5 billion, CEFCU serves over 314,000 members through four Member Centers in Santa Clara County and 20 central Illinois Member Centers; the surcharge-free CO-OP ATM Network; the CU Service Center Shared Branch Network; the Money Center 24 ATM Network; CEFCU’s website, cefcu.com; and CEFCU Mobile Banking.

About San Jose State University Athletics

San Jose State University’s athletics program sponsors 20 NCAA Division I sports (7 men’s and 13 women’s) and offers an intercollegiate athletics experience to at least 470 student-athletes annually. The Spartans compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest level of college football. San Jose State is a member of the Mountain West — a conference of 12 football-playing schools in the Pacific, Mountain and Hawaiian time zones.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations — offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 32,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

SJSU Reinstates Men’s Track and Field Program and Announces Plans for New Stadium

From Speed City to Mexico City: The Impact of the Olympic Project for Human Rights Panel Discussion:

Track and Field Announcement:

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations Director, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics Media Relations Director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu

Visuals:
Historic photos and broadcast-quality video are available upon request.

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University will announce today that it will restore its men’s track and field program in 2018. The program is historically renowned for producing record-setting athletes devoted to the advancement of human rights.

In addition, SJSU will seek private funding for a new venue to house its men’s and women’s track and field programs.

President Mary Papazian and Athletics Director Gene Bleymaier will deliver the news to a crowd of several hundred track and field alumni and families who will return to campus for the occasion.

“In bringing back a once-storied athletics program known the world over and building a new track and field venue, we are welcoming home and reuniting with a group of Spartan legends who have left their mark in sports and society,” President Papazian said, “as well as providing needed support for our current and future student athletes.”

“This is an enormously proud day for all of us, a day to celebrate a storied past and look ahead to a bright future.”

Among those expected to be in attendance at the announcement ceremony are SJSU alumni Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who raised global consciousness for the struggle for racial and social equality in the United States when they took a stand for human rights at the 1968 Olympics. Smith and Carlos—each of whom earned medals that year in the 200-meter dash—were heavily criticized for their courageous actions.

Also slated to return to SJSU on Aug. 1 are fellow alumni and track and field Olympians Lee Evans, John Powell and Ed Burke, as well as alumnus, former faculty member and world renowned sports sociologist Harry Edwards.

The men’s track and field program at SJSU officially will return 50 years after that landmark action by Smith and Carlos, which is memorialized by a sculpture commissioned by student leaders in 2005 and placed in the heart of the downtown San Jose campus. Today’s announcement will be made next to the sculpture.

Stadium Planned for Bud Winter Field

Smith, Carlos and Evans were just three of many track and field athletes who trained at San Jose State and went on to earn so many Olympic medals and set so many NCAA and world records that San Jose State became known as “Speed City.” Their coach was the legendary Lloyd “Bud” Winter, who headed the SJSU men’s track and field program from 1941 to 1970.

Winter put his athletes through innovative drills on a portion of San Jose State’s athletics complex that came to bear his name. Today, Papazian and Bleymaier announced plans to build a $5 million track and field facility at Bud Winter Field. The project will be funded by the SJSU Student Union and private gifts specifically made for this purpose.

The stadium will be home to the men’s and women’s track and field programs (the women’s program began in 2014). In addition, the new track and field facility will serve the campus and the broader community.

“We began a women’s indoor and outdoor track and field program in 2014.  We believe that 2018 is the right time to reinstate men’s track and field so we can commemorate and celebrate the achievements of San Jose State student athletes at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City,” Athletics Director Gene Bleymaier said.

“San Jose State was renowned around the world for its track and field program. We want to build on that rich tradition and bring back the pride, visibility and prestige track and field garnered for SJSU. This is a golden opportunity to celebrate the historic 1968 Olympics and the 1969 NCAA Track and Field Championship that was won by San Jose State,” Bleymaier continued.

Visionary in the Sport

Perhaps less known is the fact that San Jose State’s Olympic track and field history began with a woman. While enrolled at what was then known as San Jose Teachers College, Margaret Jenkins participated in baseball, basketball, hockey, volleyball and tennis and was introduced to the javelin. After graduating in 1925, she trained for the Olympics and subsequently competed in the discus and shot put at the 1928 and 1932 games.

The Speed City era began with the arrival of Coach Bud Winter in 1941. Not only did he bring to San Jose State a host of innovative coaching techniques, but he also welcomed to his program the very best athletes―race, ethnicity and national origin notwithstanding.

As word of his success spread, Americans came from as close as Overfelt High School (Lee Evans) and as far as Harlem, N.Y., by way of East Texas State University (John Carlos). Others came to SJSU from abroad, and then went on to represent their countries in the Olympics, including Jimmy Omagbemi (Nigeria), Lloyd Murad (Venezuela) and Dennis Johnson (Jamaica).

Between 1941 and 1970, under the guidance of Coach Winter, 91 Spartans were ranked in the top 10 worldwide by Track and Field News, 27 were Olympians, and men’s track and field won the NCAA team title in 1969. Details are provided below.

Taking a Stand for Human Rights

In the late 1960s, San Jose State became ground zero for the Olympic Project for Human Rights, a movement that called upon black athletes to boycott the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. With school record-setting discus thrower Harry Edwards as its chief spokesperson, the project attracted international attention at a time when the civil rights movement was in full swing.

In the end, all nine SJSU track and field team members who qualified chose to compete in the 1968 Olympics. Three found other meaningful ways to express their views on equity and civil rights. Smith and Carlos left an indelible mark in the memories of many with their stand. Evans struck a similar note by wearing a black beret on the awards podium after his gold medal performance in the 400-meter relay race.

All team members of the Speed City era came to SJSU to engage in the most rigorous and technical program of their time and trained hard to reach their full potential. Many returned home to become teachers, coaches and mentors, dedicating their lives to sharing what they learned at San Jose State.

For example, Dennis Johnson returned to Jamaica to found a coaching college. Today, he is known as “a godfather of Jamaican track.” Due to the opportunities he and others have provided young athletes, the tiny island nation has produced a steady stream of top sprinters, including Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world today.

Men’s track and field, wrestling, men’s cross country and women’s field hockey were discontinued in spring 1988. In a reallocation of resources, the university initiated a strength and conditioning program and a student-athlete support services unit based on surveys conducted with the student-athlete population.

Background information on SJSU track and field. 


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 32,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

SJSU Track and Field Background Information

San Jose State University will announce today that it will restore its men’s track and field program in 2018. The program is historically renowned for producing record-setting athletes devoted to the advancement of human rights.

Fast Facts (Men’s Track and Field)

  • Since 1948, 25 San Jose State University men’s track and field athletes from the United States, Greece, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo and Venezuela represented their country in an Olympic Games.
  • Olympic Games medal winners in track and field include Willie Steele (1948, long jump, gold medal), Tommie Smith (1968, 200 meters, gold medal), John Carlos (1968, 200 meters, bronze medal), Ronnie Ray Smith (1968, 4×100 meter relay, gold medal), Lee Evans (1968, 400 meters & 4×400 meter relay, gold medals), and John Powell (1976 and 1984, discus throw, bronze medals). Jim Doehring (1992, shot put, silver medal) had his medal performance vacated.
  • San Jose State University hammer thrower Ed Burke was voted by the U.S. Olympic team members to carry the American flag during the 1984 Olympic Games opening ceremonies.
  • San Jose State University athletes are responsible for 43 world and 49 American track and field individual records between 1958 and 1979.
  • John Carlos, Lee Evans, Tommie Smith, and Coach Bud Winter are members of the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame.
  • San Jose State University won the 1969 NCAA Division I Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship in Knoxville, Tenn. In outdoor track and field, the Spartans also have three seconds, a third and three fourth-place team finishes from 1952 through 1975 at the NCAA Championships. San Jose State’s best finish at the NCAA Division I Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championships was third-place in 1969.
  • Despite not sponsoring men’s track and field since 1988, San Jose State’s 24 individual NCAA outdoor champions still ranked in a tie for 21st place among all Division I programs prior to the 2016 NCAA Championships. The Spartans have an NCAA champion in 12 of the 20 individual outdoor events. San Jose State also has three individual NCAA champions in indoor track and field.
  • San Jose State’s honorary doctorate recipients who competed as Spartan track and field athletes include Dick Smothers (distance runner), Tommie Smith (sprinter), John Carlos (sprinter) and Harry Edwards (discus thrower). Lee Evans (sprinter) was a Fulbright Scholar.
  • San Jose State men’s track and field alumni also include quarter-miler Christopher Darden, prosecuting attorney in the O.J. Simpson murder trial; long jumper Louis Wright, the first Spartan football player selected in the first round of a National Football League draft; high jumper Darnell Hillman, a 1971 Golden State Warriors’ first-round draft choice and winner of the 1977 NBA Slam Dunk competition; sprinter Dennis Johnson, characterized as the “Godfather of Jamaican track” by the New York Times, and sprinter Ray Norton, given the title of “World’s Fastest Human” entering the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Fast Facts (Women’s Track and Field)

In the three seasons since its launch, San Jose State women’s track and field accomplishments are many:

  • Successfully recruited student-athletes from California, Idaho, Texas, Florida, England and New Zealand.
  • Ten entries in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Regional Championship meet. Entries must be in the top 48 of their respective events from the western half of the United States.
  • One Mountain West champion: long jumper Kelsey Johnson-Upshaw in 2015.
  • Five All-Mountain West honors for finishing in the top three in an individual event at a conference championship meet.
  • One Capital One Academic All-America Third Team: distance runner Rebecca Garcia in 2015.
  • Eight Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars as selected by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
  • Twenty-four Mountain West Scholar-Athlete awards for earning a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 at the time of the nomination.
  • Seven President’s Scholar and 10 Dean’s Scholar awards earned by team members at the last three annual San Jose State University Honors Convocations.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 32,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

Special Announcement: Track and Field

A special announcement will be made about the future of track and field at San Jose State at 11 a.m. Aug. 1 at the Smith/Carlos sculpture.

Speed City's legacy lives on August 1.

Speed City’s legacy lives on August 1.

Olympians Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Lee Evans, Ed Burke and John Powell are among the many Spartan luminaries from the Speed City era who plan to travel to campus for the event. SJSU President Mary Papazian, Athletics Director Gene Bleymaier and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo will participate in this announcement. All faculty, staff, students and members of the public are invited to attend.

SJSU’s men’s track and field program was once world renowned for the caliber of its athletes and for an uncommon dedication to the advancement of human rights. Unfortunately, the program was discontinued in spring 1988 amid a reallocation of university resources.

The special announcement will be streamed live on the university’s website.

SJSU Hosts Celebration of Life for Charlie Whitcomb

Dr. Charlie Whitcomb

Dr. Charlie Whitcomb

Dr. Charles (Charlie) Whitcomb, a beloved member of the SJSU community for more than four decades, passed away July 15. He earned two degrees from San Jose State, and then served as a faculty member, department chair and academic leader.

At his request, a celebration of life will be held on campus in the Music Concert Hall on July 25, at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow immediately (directions to campus and parking).

In lieu of flowers, friends can donate to the Charlie Whitcomb Scholarship Fund. Gifts can be made online or by mail (Tower Foundation of SJSU, One Washington Square, San Jose, Calif., 95192-0183).

Statesman

His impact is readily apparent from the many personal reflections and expressions of affection for Whitcomb received since his family shared news of his passing.

“He was the kindest person you ever met,” said Jessica Larsen, who worked with him in the Provost’s Office. “He was always positive, cheerful and never said anything bad about anybody. He always took bad situations and found the goodness in it.”

Larsen noted that he was an advocate for SJSU students from less fortunate backgrounds, who didn’t have as many opportunities.

“I will always remember his smile,” she said. “That is how I remember him.”

Devoted to diversity

Whitcomb was especially devoted to diversity and his passion is reflected in his many speaking engagements during his tenure as a faculty member and chair. He presented on issues related to diversity and athletics at multiple National Collegiate Athletic Association events and served as SJSU’s NCAA faculty representative for 20 years. In 1991, Whitcomb was appointed the first chair of the NCAA’s Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee. The group was, by any measure, incredibly impactful during his 10-year tenure.

In addition, he served on dozens of college and university-wide committees, including the University Commencement Committee, the Accommodations Review Board, the University Campus Climate Committee, Academic Senate and multiple search committees, among others.

He started his distinguished career at SJSU in 1971 as a faculty member in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies (now part of Health Science and Recreation), serving as a department chair from 1988 to 2002. He was appointed executive assistant to the provost in 2003, eventually serving as vice provost of academic administration and personnel through his retirement in 2012.

He earned two degrees from SJSU: a bachelor’s in Justice Studies with a minor in Psychology in 1971 and a master’s in Recreation Management in 1975, before going on to earn his doctorate in higher education from the University of Northern Colorado.

Positive and hopeful spirit

Those who knew him best describe Whitcomb as bringing a positive and hopeful spirit to every situation, with an infectious laugh and smile, and an unwavering dedication to our students.

“He took with him his fun, playful spirit, his undeniable dedication to SJSU for over 44 years, his belief in dignity and justice across all people, his love of students, athletes, faculty, staff and friends, regardless of race,” said colleague Dr. Kate Sullivan, a hospitality management professor. “He listened AND he heard. So many considered him a friend on this campus! I will always see his smile and hear his laughter and remember all the things he taught me as my dear mentor over the last 28 years.”

Before joining SJSU as a tenure-track faculty member in 1972, he worked as a counselor for Santa Clara County Juvenile Probation Department Children’s Shelter for six years. He was involved with many community organizations as well. He served on the board of directors for the National Park and Recreation Association from 1978 to 1981 and as a board director with Community Kids to Camp from 1985 to 1988,

 

SJSU Breaks Ground on $10.2 Million Spartan Golf Complex

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations Director, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics Media Relations Director, 408-924-1217, lawrence.fan@sjsu.edu

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University is pleased to announce that it will break ground next week on the Spartan Golf Complex. The $10.2 million project will be the first-ever on-campus training facility for SJSU men’s and women’s golf. The entire project will be funded by private giving, including a $5 million lead gift commitment from entrepreneurs, financial industry executives and alumni Rich and Cindy Thawley.

“Revitalizing campus facilities— for academic, athletics and extracurricular activities—is a top priority for San Jose State,” said Vice President for University Advancement Paul Lanning. “To make some of these projects possible, we must rely upon philanthropic support from donors such as Rich and Cindy Thawley. We are so thankful for the leadership of the Thawleys and everyone who is making the Spartan Golf Complex a reality for our student-athletes and our university community.”

The ground breaking will take place 11 a.m. May 13 at South Campus, near East Humboldt and South 10th streets. The complex will be located on acreage bordered by these two streets plus East Alma Avenue and Senter Road.

The groundbreaking will be celebrated by Interim President Susan Martin, incoming President Mary Papazian, Athletics Director Gene Bleymaier, donors Rich and Cindy Thawley, and members of the men’s and women’s golf teams and their coaches. This event is free and open to the university community, the public and the media.

Spartan Golf Complex map (courtesy of SJSU Athletics)

Spartan Golf Complex map (courtesy of SJSU Athletics)

Project

“The Spartan Golf Complex will provide the campus, our community and San Jose State’s teams with a world-class practice facility,” Athletics Director Gene Bleymaier said. “The complex will help our student-athletes prepare for competition at the very highest level while supporting our efforts to recruit the best and brightest. In addition, the facility will serve students enrolled in physical education courses and strengthen our ties with alumni and neighbors through memberships and learning opportunities.”

The complex will span from East Humboldt Street in the north to East Alma Avenue in the south. Two grass tee areas will provide hitting positions for 80 golfers. In addition, the complex will offer two large tour-quality putting greens, three bunkers, and two chipping greens. Three target greens will be positioned in a 400-yard-long driving range for distance hitting practice.  This work is slated for completion in December 2016.

Phase 2 will include a clubhouse with a fitness center, locker room and coaches’ offices. SJSU has selected two San Jose-based companies, Blach Construction and Gensler, to serve as general contractor and architect, respectively.

The baseball, softball, soccer and tennis facilities will be moved to other South Campus locations.

Cindy and Rich Thawley (courtesy of the Thawley family)

Cindy and Rich Thawley (courtesy of the Thawley family)

Donors

Rich and Cindy Thawley consider themselves, first and foremost, family people. College sweethearts, they have been married since 1979. They first met at SJSU at Cindy’s sorority house when Rich was running a successful campaign for the student body presidency. Rich also worked in San Jose State Athletics as an associate athletics director. Rich and Cindy attribute a lot of their early personal development to their experiences at SJSU and are proud alumni. Shortly after their marriage, Rich and Cindy left San Jose State to pursue a career in financial services.

“We are honored and excited to support San Jose State, our alma mater and the university serving the region we call home,” Rich and Cindy Thawley said in a joint statement. “We believe the Spartan Golf Complex will help change the feeling around the university’s South Campus, both elevating the look and feel, and exposing a different part of the community to the Spartans. This facility will be able to impact the school and greater community through youth camps, fundraising efforts and, of course, the men’s and women’s golf teams for years to come.”

Today, the Thawley family consists of two sons, a daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren. Rich and Cindy believe that their greatest accomplishments have been within the walls of their home. They are passionate about their business and industry, but their life’s work is truly about being people of faith and being parents and grandparents.

The Thawleys feel strongly about giving back to the community and those organizations that have touched their lives and continue to reach out and strengthen others’ lives. They routinely teach that “no family financial plan is complete without a determination to share your blessings with others.”

Rich and Cindy started their extended career in the life insurance and securities business in 1980. They quickly excelled in leadership development and as agency builders. In their early career, they helped to develop a company that is known today as Primerica Financial Services. In 1991, they left Primerica and founded a company that is known today as World Financial Group. For more than 30 years, they have been directly or indirectly responsible for introducing and transitioning tens of thousands of people from all walks of life into the financial services industry. The organizations they founded have generated billions of dollars of life premium, annuity deposits, and other investments.

The Thawleys also sit on several consulting and advisory boards with other companies, foundations and universities.

SJSU alumna Juli Inkster (courtesy of Spartan Athletics)

SJSU alumna Juli Inkster (courtesy of Spartan Athletics)

San Jose State Golf

San Jose State’s impact on the game of golf is defined by world-renowned Hall of Fame players; valued teaching pros and club professionals around the country; Hall of Fame coaches; and the television voices and leaders of the game.

Since college golf first became a NCAA sport in 1897, and with the addition of women’s golf to the NCAA’s championship calendar starting in 1982, the Spartans are one of only nine programs to claim a NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship and Division I Women’s Golf Championship. San Jose State won the 1948 men’s championship and became the first school to win three women’s championships with victories in 1987, 1989 and 1992.

The Spartans are one of 11 schools with a NCAA individual men’s champion and women’s champion. Bob Harris finished first in 1948 and Terry Small did the same at the 1964 NCAA Men’s Championships. In 1989, Pat Hurst led from start to finish capturing the NCAA Women’s Championship.

San Jose State, Arizona State, Florida, Georgia and Purdue are the five schools with men’s and women’s NCAA Division I team championships and NCAA Division I men’s and women’s individual champions. Overall, San Jose State has 29 top-10 team finishes and 32 top-10 individual placings at a NCAA Division I Men’s or Women’s Golf Championship.

SJSU Alumnus Mark Hubbard (courtesy of Spartan Athletics)

SJSU Alumnus Mark Hubbard (courtesy of Spartan Athletics)

Professionally, San Jose State alumni have 131 victories on the PGA, LPGA, Champions, Nationwide and PGA Tour Canada tours. Spartan golfers can claim 23 major and United States Golf Association (USGA) championships through 2015. Ken Venturi, Juli Inkster and Patty Sheehan have major championship victories as part of their World Golf Hall of Fame careers. Mark Hubbard, ’11 Business Management, is the latest Spartan to join the PGA Tour.

Venturi would become one of America’s voices of golf as CBS’s lead TV analyst for 35 years after he retired from the game. Today, Spartan alumni Roger Maltbie, Arron Oberholser, Mark Lye and Inkster offer their expertise to NBC, Fox Sports and Golf Channel shows.

San Jose State’s great coaches include Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Famers Mark Gale, who led the women’s team to three NCAA Championships, and Jerry Vroom whose men’s program appeared in 22 consecutive NCAA Championships.

Lyn Nelson was the chief executive officer of the Northern California Golf Association from 2008 to 2013. She served 150,000 members, managed operations for 400 golf courses and catered to 8,500 children who played the game. And, San Jose State legend Peter Ueberroth is one of the co-owners of the Pebble Beach Company – home of the one of the world’s best-known shrines of the game.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 32,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

 

 

World-Renowned Sports Sociologist and SJSU Alumnus Harry Edwards to Serve as 2016 Commencement Speaker

Media contact:
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations, 408-924-1748, pat.harris@sjsu.edu

Harry Edwards speaks at a campus event in May 2012 (photo: Christina Olivas)

Harry Edwards speaks at a campus event in May 2012 (photo: Christina Olivas)

SAN JOSE, CA – San Jose State University announced today that human and civil rights icon Harry Edwards, ’64 Sociology, will serve as its 2016 Commencement speaker. In addition, Edwards will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Commencement. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. May 28 at Spartan Stadium. The event will be streamed live on the university’s website.

“Harry Edwards came to San Jose State to pursue an education while representing the university in intercollegiate athletics, and he accomplished both with extraordinary distinction,” said SJSU Interim President Susan Martin. “Dr. Edwards went on to dedicate his life to developing innovative approaches for raising the nation’s consciousness about the hidden inequities and barriers that exist in our society through his work in athletics. We are proud to recognize his contributions with an honorary degree and look forward to hearing him address our graduates.”

This academic year, an estimated 9,000 San Jose State students will earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Approximately 15,000 family members and friends are expected to attend Commencement.

Harry Edwards

Harry Edwards, 73, was born in St. Louis, Mo., and raised in East St. Louis, Ill., the second of eight children. With no more than a third-grade education, his father supported the family and encouraged Harry to take advantage of the opportunities the sports world provided.

Edwards followed through, excelling in sports and academics in high school. With financial support from a St. Louis-area attorney, he arrived in California to attend Fresno City College on a track and basketball scholarship. He later transferred to San Jose State University, where he served as captain of the basketball team and set school records for the discus.

Edwards set SJSU records for the discus (courtesy of Spartan Athletics).

Edwards set SJSU records for the discus (courtesy of Spartan Athletics).

After graduating in 1964 with a degree in sociology, Edwards had three choices: professional football, professional basketball, or graduate school. He chose graduate school, and began work on master’s and doctoral degrees at Cornell University in New York. After completing his master’s degree, he took a break from his studies to return to San Jose State, where he worked as a part-time instructor of sociology.

The year was 1966, and the civil rights movement was in full swing. Drawing on his childhood experiences, his years as a college athlete, his academic training, and his desire to educate, Edwards began gaining national attention for speaking out on the inequities he perceived in the nation and the sports world.

“During the 1967 college football season, Edwards, then a part-time instructor… presented a list of civil rights grievances to the administration on behalf of the school’s black students, particularly its athletes. Edwards’s group threatened to ‘physically interfere’ with the opening game if demands were not met. It was a regional watershed in radical sports activism, and the mainstream reaction was also a first; the opening game was canceled,” according to The New York Times.

Taking a Stand

The following year brought the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy. Edwards lent his voice and support to the Olympic Project for Human Rights, a movement calling upon black athletes to boycott the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Watching television in the United States, Edwards observed SJSU track stars and U.S. Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos take a stand for human rights on the awards podium.

Harry Edwards and Sandra Boze Edwards met at SJSU, and have been married 47 years (courtesy of Mr. Edwards)

Harry Edwards and Sandra Boze Edwards met at SJSU (courtesy of Mr. Edwards).

At the time, all three men were heavily criticized for their actions. Three decades later, San Jose State student leaders recognized the courage of these Spartans by memorializing the moment with a 24-foot tall sculpture in the heart of our campus.

Edwards went on to earn a doctoral degree from Cornell University in 1971, and to begin a distinguished, three-decade career as a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. A giant of a man with a caring presence, his “Sociology of Sports” course was among the most popular on campus.

During that time, he remained in constant contact with the professional sports world, where he served as a consultant to two luminaries who also graduated from San Jose State: Major League Baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth, ’59 Business, and the late San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Bill Walsh, ’55 BA, ’58 MA Education.

Providing Opportunity

In addition, Edwards worked with the Golden State Warriors and the University of Florida. In all of these roles, he sought to develop practices and programs to increase minority representation in the coaching ranks and to support players of color as they navigated the opportunities and pressures of college and professional sports. Edwards delivered a moving eulogy for Walsh, summarizing the ways they sought to provide opportunities to all NFL players.

Harry Edwards is the author of four books: “The Struggle That Must Be,” “Sociology of Sports,” “Black Students,” and “The Revolt of the Black Athlete.” He has been married for 47 years to Sandra Boze Edwards, ’70 BA Liberal Studies, ’88 MA Education. The couple resides in Fremont, Calif., and they are the parents of three now adult children: a lawyer, a physician, and an information technology/computer programming specialist.


About San José State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 145 areas of study with an additional 108 concentrations – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 32,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

Ten Things to Know about SJSU and the Super Bowl

  1. San Jose State is proud to serve as the practice site for the Carolina Panthers. Following Super Bowl custom, practice will be closed to the public. But you’re bound to catch a glimpse of the Carolina Panthers caravan making its way from the San Jose Marriott to South Campus. And who knows? You might even spot a Panther because…
  2. A Spartan is on a Super Bowl team! Bené Benwikere, ’13 Sociology, is a cornerback for the Carolina Panthers. He’ll travel with the team, although he’s on injured reserve as he recovers from a leg fracture. It’s still a dream come true. What advice does he have for students? “Challenges are essential to your personal growth as a person; so do not shy away from any challenge,” Benwikere said.
  3. Photo via Twitter.

    Photo via Twitter @BigPlayBene

  4. Make that two Spartans on the field! Keith Ferguson, ’82 Accounting, will be the back judge, wearing jersey number 61.  This will be his second Super Bowl. Three more Spartans have officiated the NFL’s biggest game. They include alumnus Darrell Jenkins, who served as the umpire in Super Bowl XLVIII (Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks). He was a running back on the 1973, 1974 and 1975 SJSU football teams.
  5. There will be plenty more Super Bowl events right here in downtown San Jose. Super Bowl Opening Night is Feb. 1 at the SAP Center. Every major sports network in the nation will be there. So will Lauren Hernandez, ’15 Journalism, and Randy Vazquez, ’15 Journalism, representing the SJSU School of Journalism and Mass Communications. In addition, you’ll see SJSU students seated near the NFL Network set, thanks to a special connection with NFL Marketing Manager Jason Whitcomb, ’11 Kinesiology.
  6. Photo: Tom Cherrey

    Neal Dahlen earned seven Super Bowl rings as a team executive (Photo: Tom Cherrey).

  7. Many Spartans have Super Bowl rings, but only one has seven of them. Neal Dahlen, ’63 BA ’64 MS Kinesiology/Physical Education, earned his rings during a 25-year career as an executive with the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos.
  8. The Spartans-Broncos connection runs deep. The late Jack Elway, father of Broncos General Manager John Elway, served as Spartan football head coach from 1979 to 1983. The late Jana Elway-Sever, ’83 Kinesiology/Physical Education and John’s twin sister, played on SJSU’s tennis team for two years. Janet Elway, John’s mother, worked at SJSU’s Department of Industrial Technology. Back then, John Elway was the quarterback at Stanford, where this son of an SJSU coach was on the road to becoming one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. “The San Jose State-Stanford football games were magical: Stanford won in 1979 and 1980; San Jose State won in 1981 and 1982. The 1980, 1981 and 1982 games each drew more than 60,000 fans to Stanford Stadium,” SJSU Sports Information Director Lawrence Fan said.
  9. David Diaz-Infante, ’91 Social Science, was an offensive lineman on the Denver Broncos teams that won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII (Photo: David Schmitz).

    David Diaz-Infante was an offensive lineman on the Denver Broncos teams that won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII (Photo: David Schmitz).

  10. SJSU is the alma mater to five former Super Bowl head or assistant coaches including two legends: Bill Walsh, ’55 BA, ’58 MA, Education, led the San Francisco 49ers to victories in 1982, 1985 and 1989, and Dick Vermeil, ’58 Physical Education, ’59 MA Education, took the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams to the Super Bowl in 1981 and 2000.
  11. Nineteen former Spartan football players have played for Super Bowl teams, including three in the past 15 years: wide receiver Rashied Davis, ’06 Sociology (Chicago Bears) wide receiver James Jones, ’06 Sociology (Green Bay Packers); and defensive back Duke Ihenacho, ’11 Speech Communication (Denver Broncos). David Diaz-Infante, ’91 Social Science, was an offensive lineman on the Denver Broncos teams that won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII. Today, he is an ESPN college football analyst. Steve DeBerg, ’80 Physical Education, was 45 years old when he played backup quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII. Teased for being much older than Super Bowl 50 Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is just 39.
  12. Photo: David Schmitz

    Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications John Delacruz (Photo: David Schmitz).

  13. Many Spartans played leading roles in bringing the Super Bowl to the South Bay. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, ’82 Chemistry, is a Super Bowl 50 Host Committee Advisory Group member. Alumnus Jamie Matthews is mayor of the city of Santa Clara, home to Levi’s Stadium. Jill Bryant Meyers ’91 BA Journalism, ’98 MA History, is executive director of the Triton Museum of Art, including “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.” William Kelly, ’89 BS Aeronautics/Business Administration, ’14 MA Public Administration, is the Santa Clara Fire Department chief. He helped develop the security and emergency management plan for Super Bowl 50 and related events. “The knowledge gained through  completing the MPA program was extremely helpful in that effort,” he said.
  14. Photo: David Schmitz

    San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy and Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications Diane Guerrazzi (Photo: David Schmitz).

  15. Did you know all pro football players wear tiny devices that track speed, distance and orientation? This was one of many insights shared at two Super Bowl symposiums held right here at SJSU. Moderators included Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Cole Armstrong, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications John Delacruz, and Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications Diane Guerrazzi. Jill Stelfox, vice president and general manager for location solutions at San Jose-based Zebra Technologies, described Zebra’s nickel-sized RFID chips, which are embedded inside the shoulder pads of every NFL player.

 

How the Super Bowl Will Impact SJSU

Editor’s note: This message was emailed to all students, faculty and staff on Jan. 29. 2016. 

Dear campus community,

Super Bowl 50 in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara is just nine days away. San Jose State has many direct ties to this game and the activities throughout our region.  This message is intended as a guide to what to expect during Super Bowl Week.

SJSU and the Super Bowl

The National Football Conference champion Carolina Panthers will utilize SJSU’s South Campus facilities next week for practices and team activities. (These are all closed to the public.) We are proud to be a host site and the opportunity it affords us to showcase many of SJSU’s distinctions to a global audience.

For example, SJSU alumnus Bene Benwikere, ’13 Sociology, will return to San Jose with the Panthers next week despite a mid-season injury that prematurely ended his season. Bene, a starting cornerback before his injury, is an inspiration to current and future Spartans.

SJSU and the American Football Conference champion Denver Broncos also have legacy connections. The parents of Broncos general manager and executive vice-president and two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback John Elway are Spartans. Jack Elway, John’s dad, was our head football coach from 1979 to 1983. Janet Elway, John’s mom, was an administrative assistant in the industrial technology department.

Many on campus are working to celebrate these and other connections. In collaboration with the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, University Advancement sponsored SportsTech symposia in December and earlier this month, exploring the many ways technology has influenced professional sports.

University communications staff members and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics are working on several features, and are collaborating with regional and national media on other stories that we expect to see in the days leading up to the game. You may see media on or around campus.

You can follow all stories on SJSU web properties and social media platforms, including theSJSU Newsroom blog, Twitter @SJSU, Twitter @sjsuathletics, the SJSU Facebook page,SJSU Alumni Association Facebook page and SJSUSpartans on Instagram.

Facility enhancements 

In collaboration with and support from the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee and the San Jose Sports Authority, improvements have been made to some of SJSU’s practice facilities and locker rooms, including a new turf installation last week. These enhancements will benefit students, coaches and staff for years to come.

Impacts

SJSU athletics representatives and UPD officials have been closely collaborating with the NFL and law enforcement to ensure a safe environment for everyone. Following Super Bowl custom, the practice site will be closed to the public. Authorized personnel only will be permitted at South Campus during this time. While the stadium and athletic facilities will not be accessible, the Park and Ride lot will remain open to students, staff and faculty.

Next week, downtown San Jose will welcome many visitors attending public events and activities. Hotels and restaurants, parking facilities and some surface streets will be considerably busier than usual. Traffic mitigation measures have been carefully considered, and few street closures are expected. The San Jose Mercury News has created a Super Bowl Street Guide infographic that you may find helpful and you can stay updated by downloading the Nixle app (text SB 50 to 888777).

Other sites offering updates on activities and impacts in our area include:

City of San Jose

City of Santa Clara

Super Bowl 50

Following last December’s exciting win by our own Spartans in the inaugural AutoNation Cure Bowl, Super Bowl 50 is an exciting opportunity for San Jose State to showcase its legacy and future. Let’s take full advantage of it!

Sincerely,

Sue Martin

Alumnus Receives NCAA’s Highest Honor

Peter Ueberroth

Peter Ueberroth (right) continues to support the SJSU men’s water polo program (photo: Terrell Lloyd).

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an NCAA news release posted on Dec. 16. 

Marking a successful career in business and sports, Peter Ueberroth will be recognized in January at the NCAA Convention with the NCAA’s highest honor, the Theodore Roosevelt Award. Named after the former president whose concern for the conduct of college athletics led to the formation of the NCAA in 1906, the award is given annually at the NCAA Honors Celebration to an individual who exemplifies the ideals of college sports. Ueberroth was previously named a 1984 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award honoree commemorating the 25thanniversary of his graduation from college.

The young man peered at a striped yellow ball – he had never encountered one like it before.

It was four weeks before his graduation from Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, California, and Peter Ueberroth was about to be presented with a life-altering opportunity. After swimming a few laps, a cinch given his background as a lifeguard, he fired that ball into a target, again and again.

Six decades later, Ueberroth still remembers trying that strange new sport in front of San Jose State University water polo coach Ed Rudloff. The meeting was arranged by Ueberroth’s high school football coach, Ken Stanger, a former San Jose State football player who recommended Rudloff take a look at the strong-armed football and baseball player.

If not for the opportunity provided by the water polo scholarship that resulted from that tryout, the future Time magazine Man of the Year said he wouldn’t even have attended college. Ueberroth’s experience at San Jose State served as a springboard to a career spent at the highest levels of business and sports.

Read the full release.

Men’s Water Polo Returns to SJSU

Men's water polo coaches gather around their players at the edge of the pool.

The San Jose State men’s water polo team jumped back in the pool after a 34-year hiatus for its season opener against the Santa Clara Broncos on September 5 (Photo: Terrell Lloyd).

In the 1960s and 1970s, SJSU had a powerhouse water polo team. They won a national title in 1968, and finished in the top five nationally four times in the 1970s. But in 1981, the school discontinued the program to comply with Title IX regulations.

Bill Simpkins, a former college water polo player himself and son of long-time SJSU benefactors and alumni Alan and Phyllis Simpkins, repeatedly pressed the university to reinstate the sport. But the funds weren’t there. So Simpkins spearheaded an effort to raise enough money to bring the sport back.

“The team had a winning history. It needed to come back,” Simpkins said. “The sport of water polo has not added a new D1 team for over 30 years. Hopefully, this will start a trend. My parents, Alan and Phyllis, were my wingmen.”

Alumni support

Before the team’s first game, several donors and former water polo players participated in a cap ceremony, giving swim caps to the 19 players on the current roster (Photo: Terrell Lloyd).

Bill Simpkins and his wife Brigid made a generous donation. So did Peter Ueberroth,’59 Business Administration. Ueberroth is a former travel industry executive, Major League Baseball commissioner and U.S. Olympic Committee chairman.

Jane Hind set up a $1 million dollar endowment in her late husband’s name. Greg Hind, ’69  Health Science, was an All-American water polo player in the 1970s at SJSU.

Altogether, more than 100 people donated more than $3.5 million, which will sustain the program for five years until the university takes over the financing. Interest from the Greg Hine endowment will fund student-athlete scholarships beginning next year.

Cap ceremony

Before the team’s first game in September, several donors and former water polo players participated in a cap ceremony, giving swim caps to the 19 players on the current roster.

For a moment in time, right there on the pool’s edge, the years melted away as the generations bonded over their love of the game and their quest to keep this Spartan tradition going strong.

 

Yoshihiro Uchida Hall, Renewed

Walking through the newly renovated Yoshihiro Uchida Hall is a study in old meeting new. Much of the year-long construction project includes seismic retrofitting and other refurbishments not visible to the naked eye, yet threaded throughout and around the historic building, modern amenities cannot be missed.

The building’s signature spiraled turrets are still in place, but a new, glass-front main entrance encases the structure on the west side, bringing the old exterior in. What used to be a dilapidated swimming pool now houses an instructional gym. Above it, a world-class dojo lit by original floor-to-ceiling windows finally provides a venue befitting San Jose State’s premiere judo program.

Shared by the kinesiology, athletics, and health science and recreation departments, Uchida Hall houses state-of-the-art academic facilities such as an exercise physiology research lab, a stress management lab and classroom, a sports medicine center and many fully equipped, modern classrooms, as well as beautiful new locker rooms for men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball and gymnastics—all centered around the heart of the building, the retrofitted gymnasium.

To top it off, a second-floor outdoor patio is open to the university community for enjoyment. A grand opening celebration and rededication with attendance from Yoshihiro Uchida and other local dignitaries is tentatively set for early November.

SJSU Memorial Service Honors the Late Phyllis Simpkins

SJSU Memorial Service Honors the Late Phyllis Simpkins

Phyllis Simpkins

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

San Jose State is set to honor the life and extraordinary commitment of Phyllis Simpkins,’46 Home Economics and Marketing, on Friday, Sept. 7 at 3 p.m. in Morris Dailey Auditorium. A reception will follow in the rose garden and bell plaza area outside Tower Hall. Both events are open to the public.

Mrs. Simpkins, who passed away July 7 at 87, and her late husband Alan Simpkins, ‘48 Physics, were lifelong supporters and donors to SJSU. Among San Jose State’s most generous benefactors, the couple committed nearly $20 million to many athletic and academic programs.

The Simpkins’ led the effort to restore the Spartan Marching Band in 1977 after several years of absence. Last year, Phyllis provided seed money for a campaign to provide the band with new uniforms. On Sept. 8, when SJSU football takes on UC Davis, the band will wear those new uniforms in a half-time show dedicated to the couple. Sewn inside each uniform is a label bearing the name of a donor, including Phyllis and Alan Simpkins.

Among SJSU Most Generous Donors

“The legacy created by Phyllis Simpkins’ leadership and generosity will benefit San Jose State University students for generations to come. Not only did she give generously, she inspired others to support San Jose State,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi. “It is important that we pay tribute to the many ways in which Phyllis and Alan supported our students and university as a whole.”

Gifts from the Simpkins support the following:

  • Phyllis Forward Simpkins International Center (the SJSU International House)
  • Alan B. Simpkins Intercollegiate Athletics Administration Building
  • Simpkins Stadium Center
  • Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
  • Department of Nutrition and Food Science
  • Department of Kinesiology
  • School of Music and Dance

Giving and Getting Involved

But the Simpkins did much more than give to SJSU; they got involved. The International House was a personal passion for Phyllis who, in addition to being a regular visitor and occasional cook, oversaw its purchase, renovation and upkeep. Phyllis served as president of the SJSU Alumni Association in 1977. She and with her husband were among the founders of the association’s Santa Cruz Chapter.

San Jose State and the California State University have honored Phyllis and Alan Simpkins many times over the years. In 1979, Phyllis Simpkins received the Tower Award, SJSU’s highest honor for philanthropy and service. Phyllis and Alan Simpkins were named CSU Philanthropists of the Year in 1989. Both Phyllis and Alan Simpkins also received honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters at the SJSU commencement in 1996.

Parking for the event is available in the South (Seventh Street) Garage, located at South Seventh and East San Salvador streets.

CASA Dean Charles Bullock with Phyllis Simpkins at an International House pancake breakfast.

SJSU Remembers Phyllis Simpkins: “She was There Every Step of the Way”

SJSU Remembers Phyllis Simpkins

Phyllis Simpkins

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

San Jose State University extends its condolences to the family and friends of Phyllis Simpkins,’46 Home Economics and Marketing, who died July 7 at 87. Phyllis and her late husband Alan Simpkins, ‘48 Physics, were lifelong supporters and donors to SJSU. Their son Bob Simpkins and many extended family members are also San Jose State alumni. View a photo gallery of the Simpkins’ through the years.

In 2003, while reflecting on their philanthropy, Phyllis Simpkins told Washington Square, the SJSU alumni magazine, “Alan and I received very good educations at San Jose State. I could try to be very philosophical about ‘giving back,’ but it’s not that complicated — we knew there were financial needs on the campus, and we knew we wanted to help.”

Phyllis and Alan Simpkins gave in excess of $10.8 million for the following:

  • Phyllis Forward Simpkins International Center (the SJSU International House)
  • Alan B. Simpkins Intercollegiate Athletics Administration Building
  • Simpkins Stadium Center
  • SJSU Marching Band
  • Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
  • Department of Nutrition and Food Science
  • Department of Kinesiology
  • School of Music and Dance

“Phyllis and Alan Simpkins understood that everyone should receive the very best opportunities San Jose State could provide, whether it was on the playing field, in the classroom or in their interactions with other students from across the country and around the world,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi. “As recently as this spring, when we joined the Mountain West, Phyllis was a steady presence at many campus events. Her leadership inspired countless others to support SJSU.

“Hundreds, maybe thousands, of students have benefitted from the generosity of Phyllis and Alan Simpkins. Their support of our athletics, band, marine science, nutrition, kinesiology, music and dance, and international programs have touched the lives not only of those who study and work here, but everyone who our alumni have gone on to work with throughout their lives.”

As important as the high-profile gifts were the more modest ones. The Simpkins’ almost single-handedly saved the SJSU Marching Band after its several years of absence in the 1970s. They were among the founders of the SJSU Alumni Association Santa Cruz Chapter. In addition to football and athletics in general, Phyllis and Alan Simpkins generosity extended to the softball, tennis, cross country and water polo teams.

“Phyllis Simpkins clearly saw and understood the value of an NCAA Division I-A intercollegiate athletics program to San Jose State University,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director John Poch. “When the program needed to take the next step, she was there every step of the way with our student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators. Her devotion to the Spartans was unparalleled. Her leadership inspired many to help make San Jose State athletics what it is today — a comprehensive sports program that thrives in competition and in the classroom and gives tomorrow’s leaders a solid foundation for future success.”

San Jose State and the California State University have honored Phyllis and Alan Simpkins many times over the years. In 1979, Phyllis Simpkins received the Tower Award, SJSU’s highest honor for philanthropy and service. Phyllis and Alan Simpkins were named CSU Philanthropists of the Year in 1989. Both Phyllis and Alan Simpkins also received honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters at the SJSU commencement in 1996.

Services will be held 2 p.m. July 19 at the Los Altos United Methodist Church, followed immediately by a reception on the church grounds.  The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the SJSU International House or the SJSU Marching Band. Gifts may be made online (http://www.sjsu.edu/giving/) or by sending a check to the SJSU Tower Foundation, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192 -0256.

SJ Mercury News: Sports Information Director Receives His Profession’s Highest Honor

Longtime San Jose State sports information director Lawrence Fan getting Hall of Fame recognition

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News June 22, 2012.

By Jon Wilner

The list of San Jose State Spartans in national halls of fame, which includes Bill Walsh, Peter Ueberroth and Juli Inkster, is about to add another name.

Longtime staff member Lawrence Fan will be inducted into the College Sports Information Directors Hall of Fame on Monday in St. Louis, along with six colleagues from a slice of college athletics that employs thousands of people across the nation.

Fan also will receive the Arch Ward Award — the highest honor in his profession — for outstanding contributions to his field.

“It’s a big deal for my parents,” said Fan, 57, the first Chinese-American to be inducted into the sports information Hall of Fame. “It’s also big for San Jose State. It gives the school another level of repute.”

Officially, Fan has been the liaison between SJSU sports and the media for 32 years, arranging interviews and providing an endless array of information about Spartans sports.

“No one in our industry is more respected than Lawrence,” said Jim Young, Stanford’s senior assistant athletic director for communications, who has known Fan for decades.

“A lot of people in our profession are known for their glossy publications and the voluminous notes and the number of ‘likes’ on Facebook. But Lawrence has always been about connecting with people, and he does that better than anyone.”

Unofficially, Fan fills a far more significant role in his cramped office in the athletic department. To a greater

extent than any athlete or coach to pass through SJSU in the past quarter century, Fan is Spartans athletics.

“If San Jose State had a pyramid of success, Lawrence would be one of the major building blocks,” said former basketball coach Stan Morrison, who led SJSU to the 1996 NCAA tournament and had dinner with Fan on Sundays at Grande Pizzeria near campus.

Fan has seen every Spartans football game since 1980 and possesses encyclopedic knowledge of SJSU athletics. He has a story for any occasion and knows everyone from John Elway to Bill Hancock, the executive director of the Bowl Championship Series, who called Fan “the consummate professional.”

“His dry wit and attention to detail have earned many friends for San Jose State through the years,” Hancock added.

Fan is tireless, methodical and a tad eccentric. He loves “Leave It to Beaver” and roller derby and drove a 1978 Ford Granada until it had 412,000 miles. He replaced it with a 2000 Oldsmobile, which has 234,000 miles (and counting).

Fan is well known in college basketball circles for baking a cake for SJSU officials and media members before home games. Dubbed “Fan cake,” its ingredients have never been disclosed.

In order to manage his massive workload — SJSU’s media relations department has fewer resources than Stanford and Cal — Fan has been known to sleep in his office.

Or his car.

“That’s a bit of an exaggeration,” he said. “I haven’t done that more than five times.”

The oldest of three children, Fan grew up in San Francisco with a love for the Giants and 49ers. He attended Y.A. Tittle’s final game at Kezar Stadium and was in the crowd for the infamous wrong-way run by the Minnesota Vikings’ Jim Marshall.

After graduating from Lowell High, Fan enrolled at Cal with plans to be a math major. But he was drawn to athletic administration and eventually became the sports information director at La Salle University, in Philadelphia, in 1978.

Two years later, Fan accepted the same post at San Jose State, crammed his belongings into the Ford Granada, and made the cross-country trek.

In the three decades since, Fan has produced tens of thousands of pages of media guides, news releases, game notes and statistics. He also has been a friend and adviser to many Spartans athletes and coaches.

“If you have a bad game, he always has a good word to lift you up,” said third-year football coach Mike MacIntyre, who videotaped a testimonial about Fan that will be shown at the Hall of Fame induction.

Along the way, Fan has established relationships with media members in the Bay Area and throughout the country.

“He’s a nice guy even when he’s not selling you something,” said KRON sports anchor and KNBR host Gary Radnich, who refers to Fan as “The Great Lawrence Fan” on his radio show.

“He called my 90-year-old mother just to say he enjoyed being on my show.”

For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner’s College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports. Contact him at jwilner@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5716.

SJ Mercury News: Sports Information Director Receives His Profession's Highest Honor

Longtime San Jose State sports information director Lawrence Fan getting Hall of Fame recognition

Posted by the San Jose Mercury News June 22, 2012.

By Jon Wilner

The list of San Jose State Spartans in national halls of fame, which includes Bill Walsh, Peter Ueberroth and Juli Inkster, is about to add another name.

Longtime staff member Lawrence Fan will be inducted into the College Sports Information Directors Hall of Fame on Monday in St. Louis, along with six colleagues from a slice of college athletics that employs thousands of people across the nation.

Fan also will receive the Arch Ward Award — the highest honor in his profession — for outstanding contributions to his field.

“It’s a big deal for my parents,” said Fan, 57, the first Chinese-American to be inducted into the sports information Hall of Fame. “It’s also big for San Jose State. It gives the school another level of repute.”

Officially, Fan has been the liaison between SJSU sports and the media for 32 years, arranging interviews and providing an endless array of information about Spartans sports.

“No one in our industry is more respected than Lawrence,” said Jim Young, Stanford’s senior assistant athletic director for communications, who has known Fan for decades.

“A lot of people in our profession are known for their glossy publications and the voluminous notes and the number of ‘likes’ on Facebook. But Lawrence has always been about connecting with people, and he does that better than anyone.”

Unofficially, Fan fills a far more significant role in his cramped office in the athletic department. To a greater

extent than any athlete or coach to pass through SJSU in the past quarter century, Fan is Spartans athletics.

“If San Jose State had a pyramid of success, Lawrence would be one of the major building blocks,” said former basketball coach Stan Morrison, who led SJSU to the 1996 NCAA tournament and had dinner with Fan on Sundays at Grande Pizzeria near campus.

Fan has seen every Spartans football game since 1980 and possesses encyclopedic knowledge of SJSU athletics. He has a story for any occasion and knows everyone from John Elway to Bill Hancock, the executive director of the Bowl Championship Series, who called Fan “the consummate professional.”

“His dry wit and attention to detail have earned many friends for San Jose State through the years,” Hancock added.

Fan is tireless, methodical and a tad eccentric. He loves “Leave It to Beaver” and roller derby and drove a 1978 Ford Granada until it had 412,000 miles. He replaced it with a 2000 Oldsmobile, which has 234,000 miles (and counting).

Fan is well known in college basketball circles for baking a cake for SJSU officials and media members before home games. Dubbed “Fan cake,” its ingredients have never been disclosed.

In order to manage his massive workload — SJSU’s media relations department has fewer resources than Stanford and Cal — Fan has been known to sleep in his office.

Or his car.

“That’s a bit of an exaggeration,” he said. “I haven’t done that more than five times.”

The oldest of three children, Fan grew up in San Francisco with a love for the Giants and 49ers. He attended Y.A. Tittle’s final game at Kezar Stadium and was in the crowd for the infamous wrong-way run by the Minnesota Vikings’ Jim Marshall.

After graduating from Lowell High, Fan enrolled at Cal with plans to be a math major. But he was drawn to athletic administration and eventually became the sports information director at La Salle University, in Philadelphia, in 1978.

Two years later, Fan accepted the same post at San Jose State, crammed his belongings into the Ford Granada, and made the cross-country trek.

In the three decades since, Fan has produced tens of thousands of pages of media guides, news releases, game notes and statistics. He also has been a friend and adviser to many Spartans athletes and coaches.

“If you have a bad game, he always has a good word to lift you up,” said third-year football coach Mike MacIntyre, who videotaped a testimonial about Fan that will be shown at the Hall of Fame induction.

Along the way, Fan has established relationships with media members in the Bay Area and throughout the country.

“He’s a nice guy even when he’s not selling you something,” said KRON sports anchor and KNBR host Gary Radnich, who refers to Fan as “The Great Lawrence Fan” on his radio show.

“He called my 90-year-old mother just to say he enjoyed being on my show.”

For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner’s College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports. Contact him at jwilner@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5716.