Half a century ago, our nation seemed divided against itself. The battle lines were drawn on several fronts: the war in Vietnam, the struggle for civil rights, conservatives versus liberals, old against young. San Francisco State University (then known as San Francisco State College) wasn’t spared the turmoil. Far from it. In 1968, SF State seemed to be ground zero.
This issue’s cover story looks back at the student-led strike that led to clashes on our campus 50 years ago. Despite the turbulence of that time, it’s important to remember that the story has a happy ending. When the strike ended, the seeds had been sown for SF State’s College of Ethnic Studies and other ethnic studies programs across the country. Today, the University is stronger than ever, standing tall as a potent force for inclusiveness, science and world-changing education (as exemplified by the outstanding Gators you’ll read about in the Class Notes section).
Sadly, our nation finds itself in the midst of troubled times yet again. And there’s change on the horizon: Earlier this fall, I announced that I would be retiring at the end of the 2018-19 academic year, effective July 30, 2019. I’ll share more thoughts about my time here in the next issue of the magazine — my last as the president of this incredible institution. But for now, as we look to the future and wonder what it will bring, I’ll simply point again to the University’s remarkable resilience and say, with complete confidence, that the best is yet to come.