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From the President - Fall 2013

SDSU President Elliot Hirshman writes about the tradition of excellence at San Diego State.
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The letter appeared in the fall 2013 issue of 360: The Magazine of San Diego State University.

San Diego State University has always attracted those who aspire to excellence.

This tradition began with the 19th century visionaries who created the San Diego Normal School, was continued by students, faculty and staff who moved the campus to its present site during the depths of the Great Depression, and carried forth by university leaders of the past four decades who set SDSU on its current path as a major research university.

The development of the university’s new strategic plan, “Building on Excellence,” allowed us to examine our common aspirations as a community and to develop our shared goals for the next several years. The plan details initiatives in student success, research and creative endeavors, and community and communication.

We have already begun work on many of the initiatives, including one to invest in areas of scholarly excellence. The first four areas identified are ones in which SDSU has strong research expertise and community support: the study of cognitive neurodegenerative diseases; the study of how viruses affect environmental and human health; climate and sustainability studies; and the use of mobile technology to examine social behavior.

New resources will broaden and deepen SDSU’s specialized knowledge in these areas of excellence. Additional faculty members are being hired, laboratories are being upgraded and new equipment purchased.

The Campaign for SDSU—which raised a record-breaking $91 million in 2012-13—is essential to supporting the strategic investments in “Building on Excellence.” The campaign also is increasing awareness among alumni and friends of the many opportunities to invest directly in our most compelling initiatives, such as the areas of excellence.

The fall 2013 edition of 360: The Magazine of San Diego State University takes a closer look at the areas of excellence and other developments that are making this a great time to be an Aztec.