With the COVID-19 crisis making it abundantly clear the critical role that educators play in our society, Lurie College is recognizing SJSU Educators of Impact who have made a transformative difference in the lives of children, families, and communities. Learn more about Connie L. Lurie below. To nominate an SJSU graduate who is an Educator of Impact, please complete this brief Google form.
Connie L. Lurie’s commitment to education has had a tremendous impact on both San José State University and the Bay Area as a whole. Her dedication to the university and her philanthropic spirit exemplify the ideals of the College of Education and San José State University.
Connie graduated from San José State with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and psychology in 1964. She taught in elementary schools on the Monterey Peninsula for six years and later ventured into real estate investment. In her heart, Connie has always been an educator. She established the Guardian Scholars program, which provides support and mentorship to former foster youths at SJSU and endowed the university’s Lurie Author-in-Residence program, which attracts renowned national and international authors to serve as distinguished visiting scholars for one or two semesters. She launched Spartans in the Desert Golf Tournament and Dinner, which brought SJSU faculty and alumni together for a weekend of events in Palm Desert for thirteen years. In May 2013, Connie served as SJSU’s commencement speaker and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the California State University System. On May 4, 2007, the SJSU Connie L. Lurie College of Education was named in her honor.
Beyond SJSU, Connie is involved in many worthwhile education-focused causes throughout the Bay Area and California. She has served on numerous boards, including the San Francisco Zoological Society, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Strive for College and California State Parks Foundation. She has been active with The Living Desert, Kipp Schools, Aim High, and United Religions International. She’s championed summer science camps for kids through the Boys and Girls Club of Coachella Valley and was awarded their Champion of Youth Award in 2019. Connie is particularly proud of the role that she has played in connecting non profits so that they can work together to benefit children and youth.
With her dedication to education, leadership in promoting access to higher education, charitable giving, and longstanding support of the university, Connie L. Lurie is an outstanding “Educator of Impact.”