San Francisco State UniversityWeb A-ZFind it Fast


John Jacobs to receive the President's Medal



Ted DeAdwyler
SFSU Office of Public Affairs

(415) 338-1665


NOTE TO EDITORS: For a photo of Jacobs, contact DeAdwyler at the phone numbers and e-mail address above.

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs

Key figure in San Francisco's development over the last 40 years to be honored at SFSU's Commencement on May 25

SAN FRANCISCO, May 10, 2002 -- San Franciscan John H. Jacobs has been selected to receive the prestigious San Francisco State University President's Medal for his commitment to San Francisco State University. A long time supporter of SFSU, Jacobs has been one of the most influential figures in San Francisco's city planning and economic development since the 1960s.

Jacobs, who has led both the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR) Association and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, will be awarded the medal during Commencement exercises on May 25. The award honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the University and the city of San Francisco that will have long-lasting and widespread benefits for SFSU students and faculty. Vernon Alley, the legendary bassist who has played a major role in San Francisco's jazz scene for more than half a century, will also receive the SFSU President's Medal. Recipients are chosen by S.F. State President Robert A. Corrigan.

"I am honored to present the San Francisco State University President's Medal to John Jacobs, a man whose vision, consensus-building and dedication have helped to make San Francisco such a vibrant city in which to work and live," said President Robert A. Corrigan. "John Jacobs' work has extended beyond his engagement with the city of San Francisco and its many communities. He has been a true friend to San Francisco State, generously giving of his time and energy to help the university realize its full potential as an active partner in this community."

Jacobs, 76, began his close association with San Francisco State University in 1986 when he joined the President's Advisory Board, a group of influential business and civic leaders formed to help chart the future of the university. That group later merged with the San Francisco State University Foundation, a tax-exempt organization that administers projects and funds from outside sponsors to enhance the educational mission of the university. Jacobs, a member of the Foundation since 1989, became chairman of the foundation's board of directors in June 2001.

Under Jacobs' leadership, the Foundation completed the $48 million Village at Centennial Square project that created 190 units of two and three bedroom apartments for students, 12,000 square feet of commercial space and a 50,000-square-foot student affairs complex. Jacobs was also instrumental in helping the Foundation purchase housing units from the Parkmerced Apartments (now called the Villas) to address the critical need for affordable housing for the university's faculty and staff.

"It's hard not to get excited about San Francisco State once you go to one of its graduations," Jacobs said recently. "It truly says to me that America is a land of opportunity."

In his four decades of service, Jacobs has been a key figure in San Francisco's emergence as a major world class city. Jacobs was executive director of SPUR from 1966 to 1981, leading the organization's deep involvement with city planning issues, while also guiding SPUR's expansion into new policy areas such as city management and finance. Jacobs later became instrumental in the creation of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area by gathering community, and corporate and political support.

Jacobs became executive director of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce in 1981, a post he held until 1988 when became president of the chamber for a year.

Under Jacobs' executive leadership, the chamber was the first such organization in the country to develop guidelines for AIDS in the workplace, which were distributed across the country and internationally. Jacobs also helped craft a strategic action plan for San Francisco, looking at major issues such as housing, transportation, city finances, and job and business opportunities. It was the first such comprehensive plan for a major city and was widely replicated in other communities.

Past medal winners include arts patron Jane Hohfeld Galante, philanthropist Richard Goldman, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

- ### -

San Francisco State University Home     Search     Need Help?    

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132    415/338-1111
Last modified April 24, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs