California State University, Northridge (CSUN) marked a significant day for the campus community when on March 14 President Erika D. Beck celebrated her investiture with Matadors at the Afternoon Kickback. Students, faculty, and staff gathered on the University Library Lawn to connect during outdoor festivities that included music, dancing, and free food.
President Beck was appointed as CSUN’s sixth President in January 2021 and is its fourth consecutive female president. Before her appointment, Beck served as President of CSU Channel Islands and also was Provost and Executive Vice President of Nevada State College.
Matadors indulged on burritos and cold drinks while picking up special Afternoon Kickback T-shirts, stickers, and red Converse keychains to honor Beck’s favorite shoes. Attendees also wrote personal messages on the testimonial banner for President Beck, sharing what a brighter and more equitable future means to them. Students and staff snapped pictures at the photo booth that included photo props to commemorate the celebration.
“I’m really excited about today’s event. This is one of our first bigger events welcoming the campus and community, specifically President Beck,” said Audrey Martinez, University Student Union (USU) acting assistant director for programs and inclusion.
“It’s an opportunity for the campus to really get together. We haven’t seen anything like this in a while because of the pandemic so to be able to finally have a welcome for the president and have a welcome for the students, we’re really hoping that this brings some energy back to the campus,” she said.
Students got some in-person socialization as part of a large campus event for the first time in two years.
“It was a great turnaround honestly. Everything was perfect. It was the right amount of people, and everyone felt safe,” said Mohir Nizam, a business administration senior.
A variety of campus organizations and departments gave performances and offered a formal welcome to President Beck. Members from the USU Board of Directors Charlie Rodriguez-salazar and Fredy Perez presented President Beck with a unique gift basket filled with items for her and her sons. Inside the basket were customized CSUN vests, a CSUN blanket, a swimming pool inflatable shaped like a shell decorated with pearls in honor of Beck’s mother and a pink baseball cap.
Director Rodriguez-salazar expressed the USU’s excitement about working with President Beck in the years to come.
“On behalf of the University Student Union, we welcome you to the campus. We are thrilled to have you here,” Rodriguez-salazar said. “As a hub of co-education, student services, events and inclusive programming for Matadors, we look forward to engaging in many collaborations with you that will support your vision for our graduates and future community leaders.”
Director Perez said they were honored to formally welcome President Beck on behalf the USU Board of Directors and look forward to future in-person events at CSUN now that the campus is fully open.
“I really enjoyed the investiture and the speeches,” said Perez. “I’m still shaking from what happened over there because I’m very shy. But I think it went great. It’s also great to have students back on campus and interact with each other. It’s a huge step.”
Beck said she looks forward to strengthening the collaborative spirit of Matadors during her presidency through diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“I’m just really elated to have the opportunity to celebrate with the whole campus community and the kickback with the students is one of the most meaningful aspects today,” said Beck. “I’m just super thrilled to celebrate everything that we’re doing and where we’re going in a brighter and more equitable future.”
For more information about the Board of Directors and learn how to get involved in its corporate student leadership program, please visit csun.edu/usu/boardofdirectors