A Message From President Wong

President Leslie E. Wong addresses students in front of the J. Paul Leonard Library


A deeper focus on our students’ success both on campus and after graduation has united the campus over the past year. In this issue of SF State Magazine, you’ll learn more about Graduation Initiative 2025, a CSU-wide plan to boost graduation rates for all 475,000 students across all 23 campuses. At SF State, the hard work of faculty, staff and campus leadership led to more than 250 classes being added to the spring curriculum. We have also opened up some impacted programs and we have brought even greater emphasis to improving advising and financial services. Read more about how we’re responding to this critical issue on page 14.

Spring is also a time of awakening for our students. Every day I look out on the Quad and see various student groups tabling with information to advance a cause or protesting against issues or ideas they find objectionable. This activity is a part of the fabric of SF State and central to our students’ journey toward what I call “owning their own minds.”

San Francisco State University has a proud history of our community speaking its own mind, encouraging our students to own their own minds and witnessing how this commitment builds special talents and leadership skills as our graduates return to their families and communities. We care deeply about ideas, and we ask our students to link those ideas to action.

The ways our alumni embed social justice into their careers is a proud point for this University. We highlight several alumni in this issue who have used their voices and their actions to change the world. One such alumnus is Cleve Jones, an AIDS and LGBT rights activist, who worked with Harvey Milk while attending the University. He then went on to co-found the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and conceived of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Higher education and the entire country are entering a new phase where our social and intellectual values will not only be challenged, but sorely needed. Now more than ever our values of courage, resilience, equity, community and intellectual exploration motivate us to be a positive force in the world.


Sincerely yours,

Les Wong's signature

Les Wong