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Stories of Leadership: Fred Lear

Fred Lear, '74, reminisces on Aztec football games and explains why each student should enjoy the college experience.

Fred Lear received his bachelor of arts in public administration in 1974 and his master of public administration in 1978.  He has been married to his wife, Sharon, for 24 years and has one son who is also a San Diego State University graduate.

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Fred Lear

Q. Tell us the highlights of your professional career. What are your proudest achievements?

I was the Court Administrator of the El Cajon Municipal Court for 18 years. We had a terrific and dedicated staff that made "customer service" our organizational motto.  We received numerous awards for efficiency and fiscal accountability.  

Q. What is your favorite college memory?

I remember attending many Aztec football games during the Don Coryell era. I was raising a family at the time and didn’t have time to participate in any other on-campus or fraternal activities.

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Q. Who was your favorite professor and/or what was your favorite class?


Thomas Gitchoff was one of the instructors with whom I related to best.  He had a lot of practical experience, which was really important to help students understand the real world application of what was learned in class.  

Q. If you were to give current SDSU students some advice, what would you say?

Enjoy the college experience but remember why you are there. Make sure you are focused on your studies first and then enjoy the extracurricular activities.  I also believe that students should know that they can make a difference in the lives of others.

Q. What are you currently reading?  What’s your favorite book? 


I am a World War II history buff. I have read a number of books and works regarding that war. My interest in this era of our history stems from my sense of patriotism. I also enjoy reading Tom Clancy books. 

Q. What is your passion?

I am very passionate about my country, which led me to a career in public service.  I am an avid Aztec football and basketball fan having spent many years supporting Aztec Athletics and am a season ticket holder in both sports. I am also a drag racing enthusiast. 

Q. What is your motto?

To treat everyone with the same respect as you would want to be treated. Find an occupation that will allow you to make a difference and feel good about what you are accomplishing. Success is not about making money; it’s about making a difference in your life and the life of others.     

Q. If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

After helping my son financially, I would give a substantial amount to Aztec Athletics and the scholarship fund.  

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