Burk made SF State's entrance requirements the most rigorous in the state, with a program that stressed the importance of the "teaching personality" and practical experience. He believed so strongly in the quality of SF State's student-taught training school that he placed his own children in it.
Under Burk's leadership, SF State gained an international reputation for its "Individual Instruction" methods, which included self-paced work to meet the needs of students with differing abilities. He chose Experientia Docet -- "Experience Teaches" (Seneca) -- as the school's motto.
Anderson's interest in teaching began when he himself was a student at Santa Rosa High School, where Frederic Burk was principal. After graduating from the University of California in 1889, Anderson became a rural school principal, spent two years in the Philippines, and returned to become Superintendent of Schools in San Rafael -- the position he held when Burk invited him to join the San Francisco State faculty.
Anderson served as dean at SF State for twenty years, and as the school's second president until his death in 1927.
Ward, "the first lady of San Francisco State," was one of Frederic Burk's early students at SF State. She first served as a teacher at the normal school, and later became Supervisor of Practice Teaching one year after the institution was established at Upper Market Street, following the fire and earthquake of1906, until she was eventually appointed Dean of Women by President Burk.
Ward was an expert in the training of mathematics teachers, and her Stanford master's thesis is still the best assessment of SF State's "Individual Instruction" method.
She served SF State a total of 44 years.
It was during Roberts' leadership that SF State College purchased the 56 acres of land near Lake Merced, replacing the cramped, aging building of the old campus just off upper Market Street (now site of the Federal Mint): "We all dream of buildings that are adequate and efficient so that scholarship might grow apace."
Although some ground was broken in November 1939, World War II restrictions delayed actual construction of buildings until June 1949, four years after Roberts' retirement in 1945.
When Leonard left his professorship in Stanford's Educational Administration program in 1945 to become president of San Francisco State College, the school was in a period of transition. Leonard saw this as a challenge to put into practice the theories he had been teaching, to take "a college with a creditable history -- remake its instructional program to serve an ever-widening group of Bay Area young people, tie it closely to the life and interests of the Bay Area, build an entirely new campus."
He accomplished just that, restructuring the organization of the college and, with post-war enrollments projected to more than double, successfully fighting to acquire 60 additional acres of land.
SFSU's library is named in his honor.
In the 1950s, with California's population increasing by some 1,500 people per day, there was need for a master plan to coordinate higher learning in the state. Dumke, while still president at SF State, was appointed as a member of the Survey Team that was established to prepare a Master Plan for Higher Education in California, and was instrumental in formulating the Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960. The Act grouped SF State with other California colleges into a single system with its own Board of Trustees centered in Long Beach -- the beginning of the California State University.
Dumke went on to become the new system's first Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, serving for 20 years.
After Glenn S. Dumke resigned from his presidency to become Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of what was to become the CSU, Fenton stepped in to serve as acting president of San Francisco State College. He served until the appointment of Paul A. Dodd in Spring 1962, retiring later that year.
Prior to coming to SF State, Dodd served as a faculty member, Dean of the College of Letters and Science, and as Acting Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at UCLA until he retired in 1961.
Dodd was on special assignment as a consultant for the Middle-East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, when he was invited to become president of San Francisco State College in 1962.
Dodd retired from SF State in 1966.
Paulson served as acting president from fall 1965 to spring 1966, when he left San Francisco State to become Chair of the Speech Department at Pennsylvania State University.
Summerskill's presidency was marked by the tumultuous changes of the sixties, beginning with student protests at his inauguration ceremony in September 1966. Pressed by conflicting demands from conservatives and radicals, Summerskill announced in February 1968 that he would be leaving the college. In May 1968, during a series of campus disruptions, his earlier resignation was accepted, and he left for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as a member of a Ford Foundation project.
"President Seven," Summerskill's book about his brief tenure during the campus unrest at San Francisco State College during the sixties, was published in 1971.
Smith, a Professor of Education, had been Dean at the college since 1940. At one time, he had also served as the Dean of Instruction, as well as Chairman of the Division of Education.
Smith took office as chief executive during a highly volatile time of student and faculty protest, when the longest campus strike in the nation's history was beginning. He resigned in November of 1968 and returned to his teaching duties.
Smith retired in 1980.
By his strong opposition to the strike, Hayakawa made himself one of the most visible and controversial university presidents of the century. He made history by climbing atop a striker's truck, ripping out the wires to the public address system, and then delivering his own speech to the astonished onlookers. The incident, captured by press photographers, became a symbol of Hayakawa's willingness to take a stand, and played a part in his subsequent election to the United States Senate in 1976.
Hayakawa was a renowned semanticist; his first book on the subject, "Language in Thought and Action," was a Book of the Month Club selection in 1941.
Romberg established a long-range planning commission which produced a 10-year plan for the University. He also expanded SFSU's Pacific Basin program, and helped increase recognition, both on and off-campus, of SF State as an urban university.
In 1978, Romberg, a biologist and botanist, obtained a federal lease on 35 acres of San Francisco Bay shoreline in Tiburon for $1 and established SFSU's estuarine and marine reseach and education facility -- the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, renamed in his honor after his death in 1985.
Woo placed great importance on making San Francisco State "The City's University," and worked with local civic and business leaders to show them the variety of programs and activities at SFSU. He also strengthened SFSU's international curriculum and Pacific Rim ties, starting a business school program in London, and other programs in Shanghai and Paris.
Woo resigned in 1988 to become founding president of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Corrigan, a former Fulbright Fellow and recognized authority on the American poet Ezra Pound, established the Afro-American Studies and Women Studies programs at the University of Iowa, where he taught English and American civilization from 1964-1973.
While he served as Chancellor and Professor of English at UMass Boston, from 1979 to 1988, the campus was named by TIME magazine as one of nine "Hot Colleges on the Climb."
In 1996, Corrigan was tapped by President Clinton to head the national steering committee of college and university presidents participating in the America Reads literacy program.
As he leads the University into its second century, Corrigan reconfirms his belief that "San Francisco State is a university that is alive and engaged, one that is making a difference far beyond its campus boundaries . . . touching and being touched by the people and issues of the society in which it is immersed."
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