When Ed Rose, CSUN Class of 1961, was a sociology student here, all classes were held in bungalows, Lyndon Johnson visited the campus campaigning for the U.S. vice presidency, construction was underway for the first library, 2 X 6 wood planks were deployed as walkways through the muddy campus, and the university was known as San Fernando Valley State College. In the 47 years since Ed graduated, there have been dramatic changes on campus and dramatic – and wonderful – events in the life of this amazing alumnus.
Ed worked in administration and finance at Lockheed for 32 years. During those years, he was also an active volunteer, devoting time to farm workers’ rights. He also collected clothing and furniture to donate to people in need, using his own garage to store and distribute the donated items. After four years, he , along with 14 other volunteers started out of a storefront in Pacoima and established the program as a non-profit organization, MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity). MEND has become the largest non-profit poverty agency serving the San Fernando Valley, providing comprehensive services to thousands of individuals from its new facility in Pacoima. Ed is Co-Founder and Board Member of MEND, which is run primarily by volunteers; over the years, those volunteers have included Ed’s wife, Carolyn, all 5 of his children and some of his 9 grandchildren.
In addition to his work with MEND, Ed has worked internationally on behalf of human rights. In the 1980s, he travelled to a number of Central American countries and lived in a refugee camp, helping to protect the Salvadorans housed there. In 1995 Ed travelled to Haiti as a human rights observer during that country’s elections.
Ed has received many awards for his accomplishments, including the Community Award from the La Raza Alumni Association of Cal State Northridge (1979); the Valley Leadership Institute Spirit of Lenore Leadership Award (1997); the City of San Fernando Cesar Chavez Award (2000) and the Cardinal’s Award from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2004.