San Francisco State is one of several world-class universities in the Bay Area. But I’m always proud to point out that we’re the only one in San Francisco Bay every day. Thanks to SF State’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center (EOS) — the inspiration for this issue’s feature story — our graduate students are able to get their feet wet (literally) with marine science in the Bay. Working side by side with University researchers, they’re expanding our knowledge of coastal ecosystems and the impact of global climate change while keeping a watchful eye on the body of water that has, in so many ways, shaped the destiny of the city beside it.
San Francisco became the boisterous, brash, trailblazing town we know today because it was seen as the gateway to wealth during the Gold Rush. Get-rich-quick dreamers, non-conformists looking to escape the more staid East and immigrants from around the world all sailed into the Bay looking for a brighter future. That mix of ambition, individualism and diversity is still what makes San Francisco — and San Francisco State — special.
You’ll see it in the story of John De Cecco, the pioneering professor who put SF State at the forefront of sexuality studies. It’s also the reason so many SF State graduates have cooked up big success in a field that combines a need for constant creativity with immense financial pressure: the restaurant business
The Gators profiled in this issue’s “Alumni + Friends” section are bold innovators, as well, exploring new territory as a marijuana “edible” entrepreneur , the founder of a unique Middle East-focused theatre company and a champion in the World Transplant Games. You’ll find even more groundbreaking alumni in “Class Notes,” including the late Herb Lee, who studied at SF State before becoming the city’s first Chinese American police officer. And closing out our issue is a “My SF State Story” essay from a current student who helps a group that society has too often silenced — the survivors of sexual abuse and assault — as they find their voices and reclaim their lives.
The Bay made San Francisco what it is. And now SF State is returning the favor in more ways than one. Through EOS, we help to safeguard the Bay itself. And through our faculty, staff, students and more than 250,000 alumni, we keep alive the spirit of adventurous independence that’s always flourished on its shores.