‘Cal State Disney’: If You’re at CSUF, the Theme Park Is Part of Your World


Cal State Fullerton and Disney have grown together since they were founded in the 1950s with thousands of Titans who have worked at the park while in school or afterward.

“Out of orange groves came Disneyland, and out of orange groves came Cal State Fullerton,” President Fram Virjee said at the recent CSUF-Disney Mixer. They are both welcoming places that “breathe hope into the dreams everyone has.”

Among the dreamers: Class of ’85 grad Darrell Jodoin, director of global development for Walt Disney Park and Resorts, and Class of ’91 grad Darren Jones, a former Jungle Cruise skipper, who is now director of enterprise technology for Disney, supervising a worldwide staff that includes 17 CSUF alumni.

Jones said CSUF was where he truly grew up as a global citizen. Just walking between McCarthy Hall to the student union, he said, he could see thousands of people and relate to them — including students from Vietnam, Korea and Africa. “Cal State Fullerton woke me up to this big world and amazing diverse people,” said Jones. Both he and Jodoin serve on the CSUF Alumni Association Board of Directors.

On campus, faculty members Andi Stein, professor of communications, created CSUF’s first Disney course, and David Marley, also a former Jungle Cruise skipper, teaches in the History Department. The university’s Art Department has teamed with Disney and Warner Bros. to offer a highly regarded program in entertainment art/animation, which benefits from access to working professionals at nearby studios. Professor Chuck Grieb, who began his career doing storyboards for Disney, serves as program coordinator. Continue reading in the Orange County Register.

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