President’s Welcome Back Message

Dear Campus Community,

As classes begin for this Fall 2018 semester, and as we celebrate the return of our faculty and students, I am delighted to welcome each of you to a new academic year full of promise and new challenges. As I am sure you feel as you walk the corridors and pathways of our campus today, San José State is humming with energy, enthusiasm, and hope for the possibilities that this year will bring.  I am looking forward to sharing this transformative year with all of you.

I particularly want to offer a heartfelt greeting to our extraordinary student body.  This fall, we welcome more than 3,800 new first-time freshmen, another 3,800 new transfers, 1,600 new graduate students and 135 new credential students. All together, nearly 35,000 of you will pursue your studies at San José State University this year, one of the largest, most diverse, and best prepared classes in our history.

As this historic class begins the year, I also am delighted to welcome 65 new tenure track faculty members, as well as our new Vice President for Student Affairs Patrick Day, interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Joan Ficke, and Dr. Heather Lattimer, our newly arrived Dean of the Lurie College of Education.

As I remarked in my welcome back address yesterday, I anticipate that this will be an important and transformative year for San Jose State.  We continue to build our facilities and our programs at an incredible pace to better support our teaching, research, and service missions. I am sure we all are looking forward to the completion and opening of the new Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center. This state-of-the-art facility will provide a place for you—whether students, faculty, or staff—to recreate, swim, exercise and keep fit.  Stay tuned for a grand opening sometime in early April, with membership and other information on its way in the months ahead!

We also hope to break ground on our new Interdisciplinary Science Building, the first new academic building in 30 years for SJSU!  I look forward to keeping you up to date on all these developments.

As always, our campus will be buzzing with constant activity throughout the semester. Keep an eye out for events such as a series of activities tied to the 50th Anniversary of the iconic medal stand protest by SJSU student athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968. Throughout October, we will celebrate SJSU’s legacy of social justice and student activism symbolized by the actions of Smith and Carlos, as well as many other Spartans over the course of our storied history. There will be a town hall meeting, a film series on student activism, and an exhibit in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library entitled, “The Power of Protest: Speed City and the Olympic Project for Human Rights.”

I hope these activities provide you a taste of what should be an exhilarating year for all of us here at SJSU!

Again this year, returning students and members of our faculty and staff are volunteering at three “Ask Me” tables across campus from Aug. 20-24 to help acclimate anyone who might have questions. All students – both new and returning – as well as faculty and staff members are encouraged to stop by a table to learn about your university and all that it offers.

I am looking forward to a transformational year as we all work together to chart the future of San José State!  I want to hear from you as we continue to grow and learn together.  Please do not hesitate to send me an email with your thoughts, questions or concerns.

Welcome home.

Dr. Mary A. Papazian