Friday, October 20, 2017

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The Weber Honors College is part of SDSU's Division of Undergraduate Studies. The Weber Honors College is part of SDSU's Division of Undergraduate Studies.
 


SDSU Honors College Named

A $1 million gift from Darlene Shiley helped endow the Susan and Stephen Weber Honors College at San Diego State University.
By SDSU News Team
 

“Susan and I did the work because we loved it and San Diego State — not for any recognition. Truth be told, however, the recognition does feel good. Susan would be pleased, as am I.”

San Diego State University has strengthened its commitment to student success with the naming of the Susan and Stephen Weber Honors College.

Last April, SDSU President Elliot Hirshman approved the development of an Honors College from the existing honors program. Today’s announcement names the college for Hirshman’s predecessor, SDSU President Emeritus Stephen Weber, and his wife, Susan.

Naming the honors college and securing its future with endowed gifts has been a goal of The Campaign for SDSU, which is raising $750 million to support students, faculty and programming.

A significant gift from San Diego philanthropist Darlene Shiley increased the endowment to a level that will support the Weber Honors College ambitions and growth plans for decades.

“Susan and Stephen Weber’s focus on academic excellence transformed San Diego State University, and it is entirely fitting that our new Honors College be named in their honor,” Hirshman said. “We are deeply grateful to Darlene Shiley for her generosity and her commitment to our students and the Webers’ legacy of excellence.”

History of the Weber Honors College

Created during the Webers' tenure with a grant from the President’s Leadership Fund, the university honors program has grown to include 750 students in 2014-15. Academic rigor, interdisciplinary curriculum and a commitment to community service are its hallmarks.

Throughout his presidency, Weber directed funds toward an endowment that helped build the honors program into an honors college, and the couple generously funded the program with a personal gift of $250,000.

Susan Weber also supported SDSU’s honors students by introducing them to BRIDGES, a group of alumni and friends who acted as informal ambassadors for the university.

Although the group did not initially take on a philanthropic role, BRIDGES members were impressed by the honors students they met, and eventually created an endowment to support them. The endowment currently funds scholarships for up to 12 honors students annually.

“I am most grateful to Darlene Shiley for her generosity and vision in supporting these honors students,” Stephen Weber said. “Susan and I did the work because we loved it and San Diego State — not for any recognition. Truth be told, however, the recognition does feel good. Susan would be pleased, as am I.”

Ambitious goals

The Weber Honors College endowment has also received support from the estates of the late San Diego philanthropists Maurice and Charmaine Kaplan and Professor Emeritus Henry Janssen (also deceased). Maurice Kaplan was a founding member of the Campanile Foundation, SDSU’s philanthropic foundation. Janssen taught and mentored SDSU students for 60 years.

At its current level of $10 million, the endowment will enable the Weber Honors College to increase enrollment to 1,200 students, support faculty fellowships and develop challenging new curriculum for the entire student community.

The Weber Honors College is part of SDSU's Division of Undergraduate Studies. Geoffrey Chase, dean of the division, said the college attracts students seeking a small, intellectually vibrant liberal arts environment within the resource-rich setting of a large research university.

“Each year brings an increase in our applicant pool of highly qualified students,” he said. “We are meeting our goal to become a nationally recognized destination honors program, and we have done so through a focus on social responsibility, international study, and interdisciplinary approaches to the challenges and opportunities students will face in life.”


The naming of the Susan and Stephen Weber Honors College was announced at Susan Weber's celebration of life, held on campus on Friday, Feb. 20. Below are the remarks given at that event.

President Emeritus Weber Slide Show

President Emeritus Weber Remarks

Matt Weber Remarks 

Rick Weber Remarks

President Elliot Hirshman Remarks

Vice President Emeritus James Kitchen Remarks

Davene Gibson Remarks

Jane Haskel Remarks

Posters Displayed at the Celebration of Life

Poster 1

Poster 2

Poster 3

Poster 4

Poster 5