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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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Why You Must Have This Scarf

A novelty item becomes a fundraising opportunity available through the SDSU Bookstore.
By Tobin Vaughn

What started as a novelty item to help promote a San Diego State University marketing campaign has become a must-have gift that supports a great campus cause. The instantly popular red and black “I Am SDSU” scarf is now available at the SDSU Bookstore and through for just $10 with $8 from every sale going to fund scholarships for SDSU student veterans.

The scarf was introduced at a Sept. 6 campus rally to kick off the university’s new “I Am SDSU” marketing campaign. The campaign includes videos featuring business and civic leaders, faculty, medical staff, students, engineers and others whose SDSU connection is the basis for their positive impact on the San Diego region.

In the videos and photos promoting the campaign, individuals are seen wearing the scarves.  The university’s athletics department ordered thousands to hand out at special events, including distribution at the Sept. 15 Aztecs versus Arizona State University football game. Athletics partnered with SDSU’s Marketing and Communications (MarComm) team and things took off from there.  

MarComm set up a photo gallery on Facebook featuring people wearing the scarves, and soon Aztec alumni and fans from around the country began inquiring about how to get one. 

“There was enough interest that we thought we should make them available,” said Christine Hutchins, SDSU associate vice president of MarComm and chief communications officer. “So we worked with the SDSU Bookstore to set up a scholarship arrangement by selling and shipping the scarves through” 

Displaying Aztec pride

One of the Facebook users who reached out to MarComm was Berri Winnick (’70), who lives in the Los Angeles area. An alumna who displays her Aztec pride by wearing SDSU gear and sporting an SDSU bumper sticker, she said she saw the scarf on social media, decided she had to have one, and ordered it online.

“I am excited to wear it,” she said via email. “When I wear a jacket, it covers up my T-shirt. Now, I can wear my scarf and still show my Aztec pride. The fact that most of the proceeds go for scholarships just makes it (and SDSU) that much more special.”

San Diegans Kathleen Maches (’86) and her husband, Scott (’86), received scarves at the Aztecs versus Arizona State football game. “We were thrilled when we got our scarves,” Maches said. 

She was so pleased with the scarf that she decided to give it to her father-in-law, Richard Maches (’52), who recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Part of a three-generation Aztec family which includes son Zachary (’17), now an SDSU graduate student, and many other relatives, Kathleen Maches recognized the potential for gift-giving and supplementing her own collection of SDSU gear.

But what she appreciates most is the fact that 80 percent of the cost of a scarf goes to fund student scholarships because her son was a Merit Scholar as an undergraduate. “That scholarship really was life-changing for him,” she said.

A special display of the “I Am SDSU” scarves can be found near the checkout area inside the SDSU Bookstore. The scarves may also be ordered online at