The last few months have been a whirlwind of meetings and events as I immerse myself in this wonderfully rich and vibrant community. I am repeatedly asked what have I learned in my first days as San Francisco State University’s 14th president. I have learned that our students are deeply engaged academically and with the region and the world; that our staff are devoted to the institution and its people; that our faculty are engaged teachers and internationally renowned scholars; and that our administrators work tirelessly to strengthen our University and improve outcomes for students.
And our success is evident in the hundreds of alumni whom I have met in my short time here. Hundreds of our staff are former students who are dedicating their professional lives to their alma mater. Many of our Foundation Board of Directors and our strongest financial supporters are alumni. And I meet alumni wherever I go — camerapeople at Oracle Park, my periodontist’s assistant, staff in the mayor’s office and in our assembly members’ offices, and the list goes on. And I have only been here a short time!
As I said this fall in my address at the University Convocation (the annual faculty/staff event kicking off a new academic year), I understand, as a historian, that much of history is comprised of the stories of ordinary people working to transform their lives and their communities. Our University, our city and our region are all the stronger for San Francisco State’s alumni. I will look for new and more frequent opportunities to meet you and learn your stories. In the upcoming months and years, look for these events and join me as I learn more about how SF State can continue to make even more of an impact on our students, on San Francisco and on the Bay Area.
Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.