The new president of the Alumni Association assumes his third presidency at SDSU.
Bill Earley, left, after symbolically accepting the president's gavel from the Alumni Association's immediate past president, Jeff Marston, at the June 21 board of advisers meeting.
Bill Earley (’86) knows a little something about leadership.
The newest president of the SDSU Alumni Association is a former Associated Students president who also served as president of the Aztec Athletic Foundation (now known as the Aztec Club) — the first person ever to have occupied all three positions.
“Simply put,” said the Alumni Association lifetime member of his extensive involvement with the university, “I love San Diego State and I love the people associated with San Diego State.”
Earley officially assumed his new position July 1 after he was symbolically handed the president’s gavel by immediate past president Jeff Marston (’77) during the organization’s June 21 board of advisers meeting at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center. He will serve a one-year term.
Born and raised in San Diego, Earley is a partner with the Washington, D.C.-based international law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. He says one of the practices he wants to institute as president is taking board meetings to different locations throughout San Diego.
“Exposure is key,” he explained. “We need to take our message out into the community and visit Aztecs and other people who have a strong affinity for the university to let them know what we're doing and also to see what they're doing and how we might be able to partner on some important initiatives on behalf of the university."
Every alum, any amount, every year
The most important initiative, according to Earley, is educating the community about state funding cuts and emphasizing to alumni the importance of making a financial contribution of any size to SDSU on an annual basis.
"Every alum, any amount, every year," Earley said. “That message is my first, second and third priority.”
Also on Earley’s list of goals is increasing the Alumni Association’s lifetime membership from 6,500 to 10,000 of the university’s more than 268,000 living alumni. It’s a tall order to achieve in just one year.
“Is it aggressive? Absolutely!” he admitted. “Can it be done? Sure, but will it be done? I don’t know, but if we don't make it I want to just fall down exhausted for having tried.”
Those who believe that’s an idle statement should know that Earley trains rigorously for the ironman competitions in which he regularly competes.
He’s the kind of guy who sets stratospheric goals and then achieves them, like graduating magna cum laude from the College of Business then moving on for a law degree at Georgetown where he graduated cum laude.
“He's going to be terrific,” Marston said, who offered his successor a bit of advice.
“The one thing he said was, 'Your year will go by very quickly,'” Earley said, “and so I want to get going now.”
In addition to Earley taking over as president, five new board members have also been elected. Alan Dulgeroff (’92), Deanna Encarnacion (’90), Aimee Faucett (’96), Aron Getty (’95) and Todd Vitale (’86) each begin serving a six-year term this month.