SF State Alumni Association

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History of the SF State Alumni Association

The San Francisco State University Alumni Association was formally organized in 1936 with regular officers and a Board of Directors. Its main mission was to recruit members and to organize annual and class reunions. Prior to 1936, a number of informal groups met from time to time, usually affinity groups of friends who kept in touch with each other. Since almost all the graduates up until 1936 had become teachers, they were able to continue to network through their occupation. All the work of the officers and board appears to be voluntary. There does not appear to be any paid staff.

During World War II (1941-1945) The student body and faculty shrank almost to the point of being non-existent and the Alumni Association went dormant. The War over, President J. Paul Leonard revived the Alumni Association, and in 1946, everyone on the college’s incomplete mailing list was invited to attend an organizational luncheon in the basement lunchroom of the old College Hall in downtown San Francisco.

Officers were selected, a Board of Directors recruited and a membership drive started. President Leonard made very limited funds available to hire a part-time executive secretary and work-study students were made available to help with secretarial work and envelope stuffing. Records were very sketchy and addresses were stored in shoeboxes.

Articles of Incorporation were signed in March of 1959. It was not until 1982 that a full-time secretary was hired and then a computer purchased to store the address files and even more recently that the alumni computer has been able to tap into the college database.

For many years, the major event of the Alumni Association was the annual meeting, held variously in the old Student Union Commons, the De Young Museum, the Fairmont Hotel, the gym, Seven Hills and other sites. Today the major alumni event is the Alumni Hall of Fame held during commencement week.

Over the years, a whole series of dedicated presidents and directors have served the Alumni Association. These include:

W.J. Smith 1946-1947

Roland Au 1988-1990

Izzie Pivnick 1947-1948

Jack Anderson 1990-1992

Joseph Edelstein 1962-1963

Bill Dorfi 1992-1993

Art Blum 1963-1966

James Gilday 1993-1995

JoAnn Hendricks 1966-1975

Bernie Goldstein 1996- 1998

Chandler McCoy 1975-1976

Bill Mason 1998-1999

Tom Maxwell 1976-1980

Kevin Pursglove 1999-2000

Clem DeAmicis 1980-1984

Rita Harrington 2000-2001

Don Scoble 1984-1988

Danell Zeavin 2001-2003

Don Scoble 2003-2005

Since 2005 the Association has operated under the umbrella of the SF State Foundation and operated by professional staff in the Office of University Development.


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