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2015 – A Year to Remember

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An NBA legend, an opera legend and a Pulitzer Prize winner were among the luminaries who made an impact on campus in 2015.

Indian-rights activist and author Rigoberta Menchú came to campus in April to discuss social justice. The 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner was just one of several well-recognized individuals who came to campus this year.

  • In March, Earvin “Magic” Johnson came to campus as part of Business Week Festivities;
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Michael Hiltzik discussed “Health Care, Income Inequality and Other Ailments of the U.S. Economy” before the Patrons of the Library; fellow Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Sonia Nazario discussed her book “Enrique’s Journey” in November;
  • Emmy-nominated star and transgender advocate Laverne Cox spoke to more than 1,000 students in May;
  • Alumna and renowned opera singer Deborah Voigt headlined the School of Music Dedication Celebration in November;
  • Lindsay Sin, deputy secretary for women veterans affairs at the California Department of Veterans Affairs was the keynote speaker for the University’s third annual Women Veterans in Higher Education Conference; and
  • Major Gen. Peggy Combs, commanding general of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, visited the campus ROTC program in March.

Events, Honors and Remembrances

Cal State Fullerton administrators, faculty, staff and students continued to plan and move forward the University’s five-year strategic plan. In March, more than 400 campus members gathered for a town hall to discuss achievements, best practices and implementation challenges.

“We are all educators,” said President Mildred García. “We learn from each other so that our students can be successful. Not just in terms of graduation but in their careers. We need to keep our eyes on the prize — ensuring the quality of our students’ academic success.”

Cal State Fullerton honored six of its outstanding alumni for accomplishment and success during the annual Vision & Visionaries Awards Gala. Recognized were Mona Simpson, Lou Correa, James Gutmann, Russell Hicks, Tam Nguyen and Carole Wakeman.

The Division of Student Affairs’ Male Success Initiative hosted a “We Are One: Love and Diversity Summit.” Another first-time event was “Celebración Familiar de ‘Titans,’” a Spanish-language open house and preview of important information and details for families of new students.

Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Economic Education held its first statewide Financial Literacy and Business Olympiad in March. Ninth- through 12th-grade students, working in either teams or individually, competed in up to five events: a stock market simulation, a business plan contest, a financial video competition, financial literacy/personal finance knowledge and an economics and business news contest.

More than 200 Special Olympics athletes and coaches visited CSUF in March prior to taking part in the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. In May, more than 2,500 developmentally disabled special athletes celebrated their achievements at the 30th annual CSUF Special Games-Kathleen E. Faley Memorial.

Five new awards were inaugurated to honor innovative faculty research during the April Faculty Research Reception hosted by the Department of Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer. Inaugural honorees were: John Gleaves — Titan on the Rise; Nathalie Carrick — Outstanding Research Mentor Award; Dawn Person — Diversity in Research; Tu-Uyen Nguyen — Outstanding Collaborative Research; and Marcelo Tolmasky — Distinguished Faculty Research Award.

During the University’s annual commencement celebration, thousands of graduates and their parents heard words of wisdom from MSNBC anchor Richard Lui and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

The University was among 33 statewide sites to host “Better Together: California Teachers Summit” in July. Preschool to 12th-grade teachers, teacher candidates and educational leaders from Orange County and throughout the region were on campus for the one-day event.

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held in September for the Titan Student Union expansion.  The renovation of the building will add 26,000 square feet, including a three-story addition at the southeast corner of the building.

CSUF kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration of Frank Herbert’s science fiction epic “Dune” in October with exhibits, a speaker series and film screenings. The Pollak Library houses a wide range of “Dune” memorabilia, including published works and manuscripts.

Campus and community members joined others in spirit in November, holding a candlelight vigil in light of the tragic events that took place in France, Lebanon and other corners of the world. They gathered again to remember the victims of the Dec. 2 San Bernardino mass shooting, including alumna Tin Thanh Nguyen.

“Riding the Wave: A Summit on Envisioning a Korean Studies Institute” was held on campus in December. The program’s goal was to bring together members of the campus, business and community in a discussion to promote a greater understanding of Korea in the global community.

In Sports

The Titan baseball team took a come-from-behind, 11-inning victory over Louisville in June for a shot at the College World Series in Omaha. The Titans have traveled that road 17 times and garnered the championship four times but 2015 would not become the fifth for CSUF. In July, the Titans packed up their gear and traveled to Gwangju City, Korea, to represent the United States in the 2015 World University Games.

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams began regular season play in 2015 as Big West champions. The women captured their third straight Big West Tournament title and headed to their first round in the NCAA Tournament in November; against USC, they took an early 2-0 lead but fell 4-3 in the second half to end their season. The men’s team again won the Big West title but also fell 3-0 against Santa Clara in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The sixth class of the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame recognized Neale Stoner, Titan athletics director in the 1970s; Jenny Topping, former softball player; Ted Silva, former starting pitcher and member of the 1995 NCAA National Championship baseball team; Mark Covert, cross country and track student-athlete; Paul Folino, visionary of the golf program and philanthropist; and Associated Students Inc.