Campus Update from Paul Lanning

Photo: David Schmitz

Dear readers,

This issue of Washington Square showcases agents of change, including Spartan luminaries Harry Edwards and Peter Ueberroth.

Edwards, SJSU’s 2016 commencement speaker, fearlessly addresses social inequities inside and outside of sports. Ueberroth, our latest Tower Award recipient, rescued the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. As Major League Baseball’s sixth commissioner, Ueberroth brokered labor agreements with players and umpires, salvaging the ’84 postseason and restoring fan confidence in the game.

On campus, our community has said farewell to Interim President Susan Martin, whose steady hand stabilized the university at a critical juncture. She seemed to be everywhere, living for several weeks in student housing, pedaling a Spartan blue bike across campus, and leading cheers in the Spartan Stadium student section. Deeply committed to student success, she backed the formation of a student success initiative co-led by Provost Andy Feinstein and Vice President for Student Affairs Reggie Blaylock.

SJSU’s 29th president, Mary Papazian, arrives next month. A California native with an outgoing personality, Papazian is an accomplished academic leader who believes in building bridges between the university and the community. During a campus visit after her late January appointment, she vowed to put students first and to work with alumni, faculty and staff members, and community leaders to make it happen. The campus and community eagerly await her arrival.

Meanwhile, private giving is taking off—ensuring that SJSU has the resources to help students succeed. Propelled by $15 million from Lupe Compean and $5 million from Rich and Cindy Thawley, SJSU will end this fiscal year with more than $44 million in new gifts and pledges—our second-best year ever for philanthropy. We’ve broken ground on the Spartan Golf Complex and have begun planning an Interdisciplinary Science Complex—SJSU’s first new academic building in three decades.

Thank you for the many ways that you, our alumni and friends, help the university and communities near and far take on both challenges and changes. It’s a fantastic time to be a Spartan!

Paul Lanning
Vice President, University Advancement
CEO, Tower Foundation of SJSU

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