The Daily Aztec

Letter from the President: Welcome back

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by President Elliot Hirshman

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On behalf of San Diego State University, it is my great pleasure to welcome our new and returning students to the start of the academic year.

It is an extraordinary time for our university. Countless individual programs — from entrepreneurship to research to international to the creative arts – have been recognized nationally, and the entire university has seen significant increases in our national rankings. Most recently, we were the only university in California named to Forbes magazine’s top 25 “best value” list – a ranking that recognizes the excellence, quality and effectiveness of our academic programs.

We are also moving forward in our philanthropic efforts and in enhancing our campus. The Campaign for SDSU, our first comprehensive fundraising campaign, has already raised over $625 million. These funds are supporting endowments for scholarships, professorships, and academic programs, as well as the construction and renovation of our facilities.

Collectively, these new and renovated facilities will provide significant opportunities for our students, faculty and staff. Construction is complete on the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, Storm-Nasatir-Hostler Hall, Zura Hall, Page Pavilion and the Jeff Jacobs JAM Center. Work is underway on South Campus Plaza – with its student residences, restaurants and retail – and on our Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex.

Our bustling campus is welcoming approximately 5,000 freshman and 3,500 transfer students. The freshman class is the most academically distinguished in our history, and our transfer students now have a record 84 percent graduation rate. Thanks to increased funding from our Student Success fee, our students have available a host of new co-curricular academic programs – everything from lecture series to conferences and academic competitions.

Hundreds of new faculty and staff members are joining the Aztec family to teach, mentor and support our students, and we have countless new efforts and initiatives moving forward to support our students’ personal, professional and intellectual development.

These include, among others, our Aztec Mentor Program, our Commuter Resource Center, the Jeffrey Glazer Center for Leadership and Service, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, our Pride Center, our Women’s Resource Center, our Math Center, our Writing Center, the Susan and Stephen Weber Honors College, and the Zahn Innovation Platform.

We are increasing our focus on transformational experiences such as studying abroad, conducting research, and participating in internships. I hope you will participate in one or more of these important programs.

As president of San Diego State, it is my pleasure to recognize the extraordinary efforts of our students, faculty and staff in moving our university forward. We’re pleased that you are part of the Aztec family, and I look forward to seeing the contributions you make to our community in the coming year.

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