May 24, 2002


To the Campus Community:

As the University prepares to graduate the class of 2002, I wish to thank all of you for your efforts this past academic year. The more than 6,000 students who will graduate this spring are the direct recipients of your hard work and dedication.

It has been another year of milestones for the campus, culminating earlier this week with the announcement of a $7 million gift from The Eisner Foundation, the largest in CSUN's history. The gift will allow us to establish the Center for Teaching and Learning in the University's College of Education. As I mentioned during the announcement, I will ask the California State University Board of Trustees in July to approve renaming the college the Michael D. Eisner College of Education.

The Eisner gift underscores CSUN's growing national prominence for the excellence of its academic programs. Earlier this semester, the University was recognized by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as one of the leading institutions in teaching preparation in the country. We also began construction on a new $4.5 million aquatic therapy center, made possible by CSUN alumna Linda Brown and her husband Abbott Brown through their Ridgestone Foundation. The facility will advance CSUN's cutting-edge research in this area and enhance an already rich academic program that trains students to work with people with disabilities.

Other University accomplishments include CSUN recently receiving a top 20 ranking for the number of international students attending the university among master's-level institutions and for the number of minority students earning bachelor's degrees. In addition, a CSUN alumna, classical vocalist Michelle De Young, was among this year's Grammy Award winners, and a CSUN music professor, Elizabeth Sellers, arranged music for the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. And this past weekend, of course, our baseball team clinched the Big West Conference championship, earning an automatic berth in the NCAA regionals for the national championship, while the women's outdoor track team won the conference championship in Irvine. I cannot emphasize enough how these accomplishments and many others demonstrate the excellence of Cal State Northridge and serve as a reminder of how indispensable we are to the Valley and surrounding region.

As we prepare for the 2002-03 academic year, please mark Thursday, September 12, at 3 p.m., on your calendars, the date of the President's Third Annual Convocation. The convocation gives me the opportunity to welcome everyone to a new academic year and to address faculty and staff on the state of the University and the goals and challenges for the coming year. The convocation has become an important annual tradition that sets the tone for the year, and I hope to see you there. A reminder announcement about the convocation, specifying its location on campus, will be shared at the beginning of the fall semester. The convocation will be followed immediately by the traditional Welcome Back Coffee.

I hope all of you will use this summer as an opportunity to relax, have fun, and spend time with family and friends. Many new challenges and goals await us that will require all of our continued commitment and efforts.


Jolene Koester