Living Memories: 1980s


  Annette Bening, actress, B.A., Theatre Arts, 1980

"I knew I loved acting, but here at San Francisco State, I got the chance to develop that love. I am so grateful for the safe, challenging environment I had in which to educate myself, develop my aspirations and, most importantly, a place where I could practice and learn how to trust and value my own individual creative instincts."



Arthur Dong, independent filmmaker, B.A., Cinema, 1982

"When I think of my days at San Francisco State, I'm reminded of how vital it is to receive encouragement from your teachers. SFSU cinema professor James Goldner gave me my first film award back when I was still in high school. Ten years after that, I decided to finally attend film school at SFSU and Prof. Goldner was there, ready to guide me through the entire process. Now whenever the tables are turned and I'm in the role of being a teacher, I try to be just as supportive when students look to me for advice. In a way, it's like passing on what Prof. Goldner gave to me over two decades ago: a little extra push in order to dive into a new challenge."


Gilman Louie, chief creative officer for Hasbro Interactive; B.S., Business Administration, 1983

"It was the spring of 1979 and I was in my first business computer programming class. My instructor was Dr. David Whitney and the computer language that was being taught for the introductory class was BASIC. In 1979, the computer lab in the business department was equipped with terminals and teletypes that were hooked up to one of two computers, a mainframe CDC Cyber system and a minicomputer, Digital PDP 11, located in the basement of the library. One of the first assignments was to write a simple program and I decided to write it on my brand new home computer, a Radio Shack TRS-80. When I turned in my assignment, Dr. Whitney immediately took notice that it was done on a home computer and that it was perhaps the ugliest bit of coding he ever saw-no spaces, no commas, no formatting. It was written to save memory because in those days, personal computers were shipped with only 4K of RAM. Dr. Whitney immediately offered me a part-time job in the computer lab to help other students which was the best job any student could get. Normally, lab assistants were either graduate students or seniors, and I was just a freshman.
Over the years, Dr. Whitney and Dr. (Sultan) Bhimjee, another BICS professor, helped me get part-time consulting jobs which helped me get through State... the Business Department was great, allowing me to tailor many of my classes and coursework around starting my company. The professors would spend many hours with me after classes giving me great advice and guiding me through my start-up years. By the time I was ready to graduate in the spring of 1983, Dr. Whitney and Dr. Bhimjee joked that I should give them a piece of the company for all the years of free consulting. Today I look back at my undergraduate years with great pride and fond memories, always remembering that I could not have started my company without the great help and guidance from my professors of San Francisco State University."


Lisa White, associate professor of geoscience at S.F. State, B.A., Geology, 1984

"There were several professors that I encountered in my General Education classes that most influenced my early career path. Professors such as Raye Richardson exposed me to all of the great African American literature and inspired me to not only strive for success as an individual, but to also make significant contributions to my community. My first few years at State I was an art major [emphasis on photography] and Prof. Ralph Putzker helped me see the connections between the visual arts and the sciences, which eventually led me to geology. It is these interrelationships between knowledge and disciplines that I learned to value, and that I try to foster in my own geology students."


Dave Weber, B.C.A., Sound Recording, 1985

"Life as a dorm resident (Mary Ward Room 222) for my entire stay made life at SFSU the perfect adventure in the City. After graduating I took my degree and went to work in the field of my dreams -- Rock 'n' Roll Sound Engineering. I spent many years mixing monitors and house sound for many acts throughout So. Calif. before I hung up my headphones and went for a job that created some real wealth for me, Trucking.
I believe the most important subjects I learned in those years were "Discovering the Real Me" and "Getting Along with People Different Than Me."
It was sad to see ol' Verducci go down in a cloud of dust on the TV, but then again, us residents of Mary Ward always knew it was inferior.
Perhaps someday the dorm residents will be able to reunite and share our stories face to face.
It was nice to contribute to this."
(Rockabilly) Dave "The Sound Guy" Weber


Neil Anderson, B.A., Spanish, 1988

"I attended SF State during 1983 to 1988. While the professors were all 'good' to 'excellent,' the SFSU campus has got to be one of the most inhospitable university campuses in the world. The buildings were too small and cramped, and the lack of working air conditioning made them absolutely unberable in hot weather. Also, the campus layout, with the buildings arranged in a circle, was also terribly inconvenient, especially if you had classes spaced close together in different buildings. And what were the architects smoking when they designed the student union??? This has got to be the worst-designed, most impractical building I have ever seen in my entire life. Too cramped, bad traffic flow patterns, and poor elevator access. And shopping in the student union bookstore was always an adventure, as it seemed that every time I went in, the store had been entirely rearranged. You hear about all of the bond measures to rebuild Laguna Honda Hospital and the DeYoung Museum. I would GLADLY support a bond measure to rebuild all of SF State!!"


Memories    1990s

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Archived Information. Last modified March 20, 2009, by University Communications