As the SDSU community closes out the year, I’d like to reflect on some of the things I’m most thankful for. I know – it seems like we are inundated with lists this time of year – but my team tells me lists get lots of hits, so here goes…
10. Stephen Weber – for 15 years, President Weber was the identity of our campus – and our most effective storyteller. He transformed SDSU and left us with incredible momentum.
9. Elliot Hirshman – SDSU could not have found a better president. He has brought new energy, passion, humor and a laser focus on student success.
8. Steve Fisher, Beth Burns, Rocky Long, Tony Gwynn and all SDSU’s outstanding coaches – SDSU would be a great university without a great Athletics program but now we’re on the verge of having both. Beyond building successful programs, these incredible people work daily to shape outstanding citizens.
7. 69,000+ applicants – I guess we’re doing something right! Seriously, California has many talented young people filled of hope and enthusiasm for the future – let’s not let them down by closing the door on their dreams of a university education!
6. SDSU’s incredible faculty – they continue to bring accolades for their outstanding work and $150 million in research that has elevated SDSU to be among the top public research universities in the U.S. On the downside, I have to go to work knowing I’ll never be the smartest person in the room!
5. Our students – they are why we are here! A lot has been written about the current generation’s short-comings – don’t believe it. From what I’ve seen, our future is in good hands. I’m especially impressed by the accomplishments of our student leaders in the areas of sustainability and social justice.
4. SDSU’s donors who have enriched SDSU with $280 million to The Campaign for SDSU. SDSU would be a far different place with their investments in our talented people, nationally ranked programs and beautiful facilities. Thank you 280 million times!
3. Our hard-working staff – they look after our students, fix our computers, protect the campus and keep it looking amazing. While the jobs vary, they share a belief in the power of a university to change lives.
2. My team – through their efforts, the MarComm team is helping transform the image of 114-year old university and engaging more people in powerful new ways.
1. My family – for putting up with the 3 a.m. phone calls (which are never good) and generally supporting me through all the adventures that come with the job. It helps that my wife Lucita is an Aztec alumna!
I’m tempted to add that I’m thankful for the delicious cookies baked by Aztec Shops – which have got me through many long meetings. Instead, I’ll close by thanking our troops for keeping our country safe and allowing us all to live our lives in freedom. Peace to all!
Jack Beresford is Chief Communications Officer at San Diego State University