Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- February 25, 2004

Cal State L.A. President to be Honored as 2004 Humanitarian

Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser will be presented the Black History Month Celebration 2004 Humanitarian Award on Friday, February 27, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce. An award letter to Dr. Rosser notes: “You are an icon whose fervor demonstrates great leadership throughout the community and among African-Americans.”

Dr. Rosser has served as president of Cal State L.A. for a milestone 25 years, where he also holds an academic appointment in the College of Business and Economics as professor of health care management. At the time of his 1979 appointment as president, he was the second African American and the youngest individual to head a CSU campus. He is now the longest-serving African American president at a public university. He previously held senior administrative positions in two major universities and served for five years as vice chancellor, and later acting chancellor, of the State of New Jersey Department of Higher Education. He was also the first African American to serve as president of the Los Angeles Area Boy Scouts of America.

A native of East St. Louis, Illinois, Dr. Rosser earned academic degrees in health education and microbiology from Southern Illinois University (SIU) at Carbondale (Ph.D. 1969, M.A. 1963, B.A. 1962). In 2003, Dr. Rosser was presented the degree of Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from SIU at the university’s commencement ceremony. He also received SIU’s highest alumni honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, in 1999, and the university’s Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Education in 1986. Additionally, he was an Aspen Scholar for the 1995 Aspen Institute’s Executive Seminar, and in the same year, received the Education Award of the Watts Foundation Community Trust.

He has been active throughout his career in the American Council on Education, having served on the Commission on Governmental Relations, the Commission on Academic Affairs, the Committee on Confidentiality, and the National Commission on Higher Education Issues and its Task Force on Affirmative Action. He has also served on several committees of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

His community activities include appointments to the boards of directors and/or leadership participation with numerous organizations, including the Los Angeles Urban League, Sanwa Bank of California (United California Bank), Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, Texaco Task Force on Equality and Fairness, the Governor’s Task Force on Diversity and Outreach, LA’s Best, the California Chamber of Commerce, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project, the Los Angeles Advisory Alliance of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, and more.

Under Dr. Rosser’s leadership, Cal State L.A., a comprehensive public university founded in 1947, has been recognized as a preeminent urban university. The University–one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation–offers programs in more than 50 academic and professional fields; has an annual enrollment of 21,000 students; and has granted degrees to more than 160,000 graduates.

Contact: Carol Selkin, Media Relations Director, (323) 343-3050

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