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Saturday, September 23, 2023

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On campus with President Adela de la Torre (third from left) were her husband, Stephen Bartlett; Mary Ruth Carleton, VP for University Relations and Development; and Seth Mallios, SDSU history curator On campus with President Adela de la Torre (third from left) were her husband, Stephen Bartlett; Mary Ruth Carleton, VP for University Relations and Development; and Seth Mallios, SDSU history curator

Hundreds Welcome New SDSU President

Adela de la Torre kicked off 100 days of "listening and learning" during meetings with on- and off-campus community members.
By La Monica Everett-Haynes

To formally welcome San Diego State University President Adela de la Torre on her first day, about 200 campus community members met in front of Hepner Hall Thursday morning for a flag-raising ceremony.
The event, enlivened by the Aztec Pep Band, began with SDSU ROTC members hoisting the flag. It was the first official public event for de la Torre as SDSU president.
“It has been a busy few months since I was announced president and I have been humbled and honored to meet with students, faculty, staff, donors and community leaders who are excited to support and share their vision for SDSU,” said de la Torre, SDSU’s ninth permanent president and the first woman to serve in that role.
After the flag raising, de la Torre, who has spoken to the benefit of her own public education in California, shared her appreciation for the welcome. She then entered the crowd to shake hands, give greetings and take impromptu photos with students, faculty and staff.
“It is such an honor to welcome Dr. de la Torre during this transformative moment in SDSU’s history. She brings an honest and appreciated devotion to students, faculty and the broader community along with a bold desire to move the university into a new era of growth and innovation,” said Joseph F. Johnson Jr., interim provost. “I look forward to working with Dr. de la Torre to prepare for the university’s next strategic phase.”

After the ceremony, de la Torre ascended Hardy Tower for the bell toll alongside others, including Chris Thomas, Associated Students president. “I am excited to collaborate with her to build a vision for the university to grow while benefiting all students and leaving a lasting heart print," he said.
De la Torre joins SDSU from the University of California, Davis, where she has served in several leadership roles, culminating in vice chancellor, student affairs and campus diversity. At SDSU, she succeeds Sally Roush, who served as president for one year after Elliot Hirshman resigned to become president of Stevenson University in Maryland.
Throughout the rest of her first day, de la Torre met with San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and with Ron Fowler, executive chair of the San Diego Padres. She spent time with faculty, staff, including members of SDSU Athletics, and had lunch with SDSU students.

Deeply committed to student success and the continued growth of student excellence and achievement at SDSU, she also met with students visiting campus from Mt. San Jacinto's Upward Bound program.
“President de la Torre is a champion for student success, diversity and inclusion,” said Eric Rivera, vice president for Student Affairs. “Her background and commitment to students will enable all of our students to continue achieving at the highest levels.”
De la Torre also toured SDSU, visiting the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex, a new, cooperatively focused space that is expanding the university’s commitment to innovation and collaboration in the STEM disciplines.

Thursday also marked day one of de la Torre’s 100 days of listening and learning, which she has described as essential to formulating the university’s new vision and plan for the future.
“Our faculty has consistently expanded federal research funding and research partnerships with agencies, organizations and private industry,” de la Torre said. “With a commitment to excellence, SDSU will continue to move forward in joining the ranks of top public research universities in the nation.”
An economist deeply invested in increasing access to higher education and supporting regional economic growth, de la Torre said she is also supportive of the university’s vision of expansion through its SDSU Mission Valley site plan.
“The SDSU Mission Valley site plan and campus expansion provides a blueprint for the university’s long-term growth,” de la Torre said. “This is indeed an exciting time to be part of San Diego State University.”