CSU Alumni

November 14, 2012 Board of Trustees Report

San Diego State alumnus and veteran Peter Salas spoke about his military and public service career at the November CSU Board of Trustees meeting.


Chair Linscheid:

For some of the reports we have a report from the California State University Alumni Council.  Guy Heston, president, is here.  Guy, welcome.

Guy Heston:

Thanks you Chair Linscheid.  In my report today, I’d like to highlight some of the contributions of CSU graduates working in the public service field.  Nearly two-thirds of all Californians with a master’s degree in public administration studied at a CSU as did half of those with bachelor’s degrees in city and regional planning.  Clearly, CSU alumni are the leaders of our public sector.

Devoting yourself to public service goes beyond those working at the local and regional level.  It also includes our graduates who are proud veterans of the United States Armed Forces.  We are honored—deeply honored—to have one of these distinguished alumni veterans with us today.  He is sitting to my left.  Peter Salas is a double graduate of San Diego State with his bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in computer science and a master’s degree in homeland security.  Peter is a model of public service.  He was a senior at San Diego State during the terrorist attacks of September 11.  On that very evening he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.  He served the Marines from 2002 to 2008 including two tours of duty overseas.  His commitment to San Diego State University and its student veterans was impressive after returning to campus.  He served as president of the campus Student Veterans Organization and has been a steadfast advocate for the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center on campus.  And never doubt his Aztec Pride; he even got married at SDSU’s Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.  We’ve asked Peter here today to share his story about his CSU experience and the importance of the university to our Armed Services.  Welcome, Peter.

Peter Salas:

Good morning Board of Trustees, university presidents, distinguished students, staff.  I’d like to say thank you for inviting me to come and providing this opportunity for me to share my experiences at the CSU campuses, especially San Diego State University.  I have to admit I was a little nervous walking into this building but when I looked across the room and saw my Homecoming King I knew everything would be good.  {Laughing}

First I want to just say thank you especially to President Hirshman for stepping in and really leading San Diego State and the home of the Aztecs to where it’s going now.  I never was a student underneath President Hirshman but I have seen him in the gym, he can work out {laughing} and I first have to say—next I want to say—that I wouldn’t have been able to do half the things I’ve been able to do if it wasn’t for the opportunities given to me by the university and with the CSU system.  Chancellor Reed I have to say thank you for enabling the presidents to lead the way they do and that enabled me to lead the way I did.  I was able to get involved in so many different activities on the campuses and really able to give back in the way that I was able to give back and I know that without those experiences I had at San Diego State University I wouldn’t be here now.  I felt really honored and privileged to be here and to speak on some of the activities and some of the things that I did and really I am just a small little example of some of the leadership that comes out and is in your college campuses now.  I know there’s veterans all over this state—all over all the campuses now—and like I said I’m just a small example of what they all can do and if you just enable your leaders on campus to be leaders there’s no telling where your campus will be.  Thank you very much, Chancellor Reed, for 15 years and I know that you’ll get all that time back.  Thank you.  {Applause}

Guy Heston:

Peter, thank you for sharing your experiences with us today and on behalf of the California State University and the Alumni Council, thank you for your service.

I’d also like to share some recent alumni news with you.  The Alumni Council held its fall meeting at CSU San Marcos in September.  The professional development theme was “building partnerships in the community” and we heard great examples from our campus alumni associations about how they partner with faculty, students and athletics.  In particular, we’re excited about ongoing coordination efforts between the Alumni Council and CSSA.

Along with our president-elect, Kristin Crellin, and Chair Linscheid, I had the opportunity to participate in the Funding the Future of the CSU symposium put on by the CSUN faculty October 11.  We were very pleased to participate in this important discussion about how the CSU system can grow and continue to serve students to fuel California’s economy.

Last night, 11 CSU campuses came together to host a power networking event—we actually called it a Super Mega Mixer—with CSU alumni at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney.  We had over 275 reservations to the event.  It was a total sell-out demonstrating the power of CSU alumni networking.

We’d also like to congratulate CSSA on its incredible voter registration efforts and advocacy on behalf of Proposition 30.  The Alumni Council also endorsed the proposition and our campus alumni associations took action to communicate the impact of the measure on the CSU and its students.  Systemwide, our campus alumni associations communicated Prop 30 information to over 900,000 alumni, parents and friends of the university and we are very proud to have been a part of this effort to protect the California State University.

In closing, I’d like to express our continued gratitude to Chancellor Reed and wish him well in his retirement and thank the trustees and presidents whose investment in the critical work of our alumni relations and advancement operations is laying the groundwork for the growth and recovery of our state university.  Finally, I’d like to extend a special welcome to Chancellor-designee White.  We very much look forward to working with him.

Thank you, Chair Linscheid, this concludes my report.

Chair Linscheid:

Thanks very much, Guy, appreciate it and, Peter, welcome.