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Sunday, June 4, 2023

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William L. “Bill” Erickson William L. “Bill” Erickson

In Memoriam: William L. Erickson

William L. Erickson served as vice president for Business and Financial Affairs for 19 years.
By SDSU News Team

William L. “Bill” Erickson, a San Diego State University vice president for Business and Financial Affairs for 19 years, passed away on July 4 in Rocklin, California. He was 85.

“Bill Erickson was dedicated to the best interests of SDSU,” said President Sally Roush, who worked for Erickson and succeeded him as vice president for Business and Financial Affairs. “He brought to the university a team of professionals similarly devoted to SDSU and committed to the high standards of integrity and competence that he exhibited on a daily basis.”

Erickson is survived by his wife, Catherine; daughter, Caren Erickson and son-in-law, Jim Sumich; and daughter, Gayle Erickson-Rideout, son-in-law, Mark Rideout and granddaughter, Catherine.

Erickson was born in Sacramento in 1932 and graduated from Sacramento State College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He married Catherine Pugh in 1954.

From 1954 to 1956, Erickson served in the Navy as a supply and disbursing officer for a special-warfare “beach jumper” unit and was stationed at the U.S. Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, California.

His 38-year career in higher education began at his alma mater, where he was a business services officer. In 1961, he moved to the Office of the Chancellor in the California State University system. As administrative services officer, he managed the budget, operations and facilities.

Erickson began working at San Diego State College in 1963 as general manager of its foundation, a nonprofit auxiliary chartered in 1943 to further the educational, research and community service objectives of the college. Erickson remained with the organization, now known as the SDSU Research Foundation, for seven years. In 1970, he became the college’s business manager.

Erickson was appointed the first vice president for Business and Financial Affairs for the renamed San Diego State University in 1975. He managed a division responsible for budget and finance, human resources, university public safety, plant operations and capital construction. His leadership coincided with a time of rapid growth in the physical footprint of the university that included the construction of Student Services West, the Gateway Center and extensive renovations to older buildings.

During his time at the university, Erickson served on the Aztec Shops and SDSU Research Foundation boards of directors, among others. He was president of the Western Association of College and University Business Officers from 1983 to 1984. He retired in 1994.

Erickson was honored with the university’s Monty Award for his service to SDSU. He also was recognized by the SDSU chapter of the Mortar Board National Honor Society with an Outstanding Service Award in 2008.

“It was a pleasure to work with Bill,” said former SDSU President Thomas B. Day. “His recognition was well-earned. The excellence of today’s SDSU owes much to his contributions.”