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Monday, January 21, 2019

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Rendering of the Sickels Plaza medallion Rendering of the Sickels Plaza medallion

At the Heart of Campus

A new SDSU landmark recognizes Karen and Kit Sickels for their service and generosity.
By SDSU News Team

“It has been a privilege for Karen and me to contribute to the university that has given us so much.”

Campus beautification is an ongoing enterprise at San Diego State University. Last November, SDSU unveiled the Clay Gateway, a formal campus entrance on Montezuma Avenue.

This year’s addition is Sickels Plaza, located in the heart of the campus. A new gift from alumni Christopher “Kit” (’60) and Karen (’69) Sickels has allowed SDSU to add native shade plants and succulents, sturdy wicker furniture and stone benches to the pedestrian corridor stretching between the SDSU Bookstore and the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

The dedication ceremony for Sickels Plaza will begin at noon on Thursday, Sept. 14.

A concrete and bronze medallion six feet in diameter marks the center of Sickels Plaza and includes an inscription recognizing the couple for their years of generosity and service to SDSU.

“Kit and Karen are true change-makers,” said Mary Ruth Carleton, vice president of University Relations and Development. “They have touched so many areas of our campus—from student success to scholarship to alumni engagement. We are deeply grateful for their warmth, their boundless love for SDSU and their willingness to serve the university in many different capacities.”

Kit Sickels was board chair of the university’s philanthropic auxiliary, The Campanile Foundation (TCF) from 2009 to 2014, a period critical to the success of The Campaign for SDSU. He continues to play a role on TCF committees.

The couple also served on SDSU’s National Leadership Council during the campaign. They have supported the Library, Athletics, the College of Sciences, the President’s Leadership Fund and student scholarships.

“It has been a privilege for Karen and me to contribute to the university that has given us so much,” Sickels said. “A lot has changed since I first stepped on campus. What hasn’t changed is the importance of a San Diego State University education and the importance of SDSU to the life of the entire San Diego region.”