Campus: Sonoma State University -- June 29, 1999

University Celebrates Partnership Role In Stockton's Successful Bid For All-American City Honors

California State University, Stanislaus is celebrating its partnership with Stockton after the San Joaquin County community was named one of the country's 10 All-American cities.

A team of Stockton representatives that included a pair of CSU Stanislaus senior administrators and a student from the University's Stockton campus made presentations on how partnerships have been built in the community to tackle local problems. Official selection of Stockton as one of the 10 cities presented with the national honor was announced on Saturday, June 26, during final judging held in Philadelphia.

CSU Stanislaus' partnership with Stockton, in expanding opportunities for higher education access in the community, was one of three projects cited in the All-American selection. Stockton's Apollo Nights and Let Education Attack Pollution youth programs were the other two projects included in the city's presentation.

"CSU Stanislaus is pleased it has been able to be part of that important partnership which benefits the entire City, University, including our programs here in Turlock," said Dr. Marvalene Hughes, CSU Stanislaus President. "It is symbolic of the many more partnerships that will be formed with the business community and leadership of the City of Stockton."

Dr. Cynthia Morgan, Dean of CSU Stanislaus-Stockton, and Mary Stephens, the University's Vice President for Business and Finance, were joined by University student Jeana Giron as part of the 70-person Stockton delegation that made the winning presentations at the Philadelphia competition.

"All of Stockton should be proud of the honor that has been bestowed upon the city," Dr. Morgan said. "As the Dean of CSU Stanislaus -Stockton, I was honored to participate in the events held in Philadelphia. All participants represented Stockton with enthusiasm and dignity. CSU Stanislaus - Stockton is, and will continue to be committed to the community of Stockton and its citizens. The opportunities we offer provide community members an affordable and convenient education that is located in their community.

"National exposure and attention gained by Stockton and CSU Stanislaus through the All-American award provide a window of opportunity to showcase the community and the University," Dr. Hughes noted. With enrollment having increased since the University's move to its new California Avenue location, President Hughes indicated that the University will continue to build on its academic offerings to meet a growing need in the community.

"This award is a major indication about the vision of community leadership in Stockton," Dr. Hughes said. "It really positions Stockton to advance its economic and education programs. It certainly must not be construed as an end in itself, but it positions Stockton to move forward and capitalize on the opportunity to continue to make positive improvements. For CSU Stanislaus, it should enable us to attract more students from the region, because of the national visibility that will come from this partnership recognition."

That cooperative spirit paid off in 1997 when California State University trustees approved a proposal for CSU Stanislaus to take over operation of the former Stockton Developmental Center after a two-year campaign for conversion of the facility. Strong support from Stockton city officials and the community as well as backing of area state legislators who rallied to the cause enabled CSU Stanislaus to take over the expansive facility that was scheduled to be abandoned by the state.

The acquisition enabled CSU Stanislaus to move its Stockton classes from a small portable building in the San Joaquin Delta College parking lot to the 102-acre site near the downtown area. The University conducted classes in two renovated buildings at the park-like site in 1998-99 and is making plans for significant enrollment increases and expanding academic offerings in the coming years.

The University is also partnering with the University of Pacific and San Joaquin Delta College to offer a variety of academic programs at the campus.

Conversion of the former mental health facility into a higher education facility over the past two years has been described as "nothing short of a miracle." More than 1,000 students are enrolled at the Stockton campus and that number is expected to more than quadruple over the next decade.

That the facility has opened doors for low-income students in making the promise of higher education a reality has been cited as helping to make a difference in the lives of Stockton residents. In addition to providing educational opportunities that help people gain access to higher paying jobs in education, technology, and health care, the campus is also bringing jobs and stimulating redevelopment of a blighted area. These are keys to the successful economic future, since plans are in the works to expand leasing of facilities on the site as a way of covering costs for operation of the campus and future improvements and expansions.

Vice President Stephens said development of the campus in Stockton responded directly to critical issues facing the community about higher education accessibility, workforce preparation, reduction of high unemployment rates in the Stockton region, stimulation of redevelopment efforts, and creation of jobs.

"It is a privilege to be part of this very well deserved honor given to the City of Stockton," Stephens said. "The University is committed to remaining a partner in the renaissance of Stockton."

Stockton Mayor Gary Podesto led a busload of participants fresh from the All-America City Competition to the California Assembly and Senate in Sacramento on Monday, June 28, to be congratulated for their recent win.

Union City was the only other California team to win this year. Stockton and Union City were among 30 finalists in the competition, sponsored by the National Civic League.

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