This is the first feature in a series about the impact of The Campaign for SDSU on academic and co-curricular programs.
This year’s San Diego State University freshmen have an average high school grade point average of 3.68. More than 800 of them—around 10 percent—scored higher than 1300 on the SAT math and verbal sections combined.
The academic proficiency of SDSU students has been trending upwards for years. In order to meet the expectations of high achieving students, SDSU strengthened its honors curriculum and hired an honors program director in 2002. Now, thanks to The Campaign for SDSU, the program has grown into the Susan and Stephen Weber Honors College with 1,085 students enrolled.
“The Susan and Stephen Weber Honors College provides important academic and co-curricular opportunities for our diverse students,” said President Elliot Hirshman. “This special learning community challenges and engages our students who, in turn, are providing critical service to, and leadership of, our broader campus community.”
Expanding the honors program to an honors college and securing its future with endowed gifts was an early goal of The Campaign for SDSU. The university’s seventh president, Stephen L. Weber, directed philanthropic funds toward the honors endowment and with his spouse, Susan K. Weber, made a personal contribution of $250,000.
The endowment received additional 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.
In 2015, a significant gift from San Diego philanthropist Darlene Shiley raised the endowment to $10 million, officially creating the Susan and Stephen Weber Honors College. Academic rigor, interdisciplinary curriculum and community service are its hallmarks.
“Our honors college students are leaders and global citizens capable of the highest levels of academic engagement and critical thinking,” said Chukuka Enwemeka, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs.
The Campaign for SDSU began in 2007 as an effort to generate philanthropic support for SDSU students, faculty, staff and programs. More than 67,000 donors have contributed to help SDSU surpass its campaign goal of $750 million.
The Campaign for SDSU - Stories of Impact:
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