A Message from President Papazian

From left: Sen. Bob Wieckowski, Sen. Jim Beall, Sen. Bill Monning (majority leader), President Papazian, Sen. Toni Atkins (president pro tempore), Sen. Jerry Hill (Photo courtesy of Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

For the first time in California State University history, women serve as presidents of the majority of the system’s 23 campuses. It was an honor to be recognized by California Senator Ricardo Lara in the state capitol alongside my 11 colleagues this spring.

This is progress. I think often about how to move toward equity and feel personally responsible for creating pathways of opportunity for others. Inside this issue of Washington Square are stories of SJSU students, alumni and faculty members doing just that.

At a time when more and more young Americans have to work harder to achieve their own dreams—whether through higher education, through business or through work in their communities—San Jose State is actively teaching students how to be agents of social change. Next fall, five of SJSU’s colleges will use curriculum based on Professor Scott Myers-Lipton’s new book Change! A Student Guide to Social Action (“More than Marches”).

Campus speakers like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (2005–2009), who I had the pleasure of interviewing in March, illuminate the challenges our democracy presents, as well as the promise that it holds (“Well Said”). While we’ve come a long way, more progress is needed.

Together, San Jose State and the city of San Jose have shown time and again a willingness to ask thought-provoking questions and to address big challenges. The university hosted a dialogue about gender equity and sport featuring Olympians, advocates and other leading voices in the field (“Arena of Influence”). And our alumni and faculty experts and civic leaders share their perspectives on Silicon Valley’s housing crisis (“Reshaping the American Dream”).

As president of San Jose State, I am so proud that our university has taken the lead on having the right conversations and taking the right actions to expand equity of opportunity for all. We need you, the university’s alumni, to be part of our ongoing efforts to embody and empower true inclusion and equity. I hope you’ll join us.


Mary Papazian, Ph.D.

I look forward to hearing from you. Please share your thoughts.



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