Statement by San Francisco State President Robert A. Corrigan on the passing of Professor Emeritus Tom Lantos
SAN FRANCISCO, February 11, 2008 -- The following are remarks made today by San Francisco State University President Robert A. Corrigan on the passing of U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, a professor emeritus of economics at SF State:
"As a faculty member at SF State and for decades after that as a member of Congress, he promoted international education. He helped SF State and the California State University become national leaders in study abroad programs, seeing in them an antidote to insularity and a necessary part of preparation for good global citizenship.
"At the time of his death, Congressman Lantos was working with SF State to create a center for international education in his name.
"His advocacy made it possible for SF State to become the first master’s level institution in the nation to receive Department of Education funding for a great support program for graduate students in the sciences -- GAAN, Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need.
“Tom Lantos was one of the greatest men of principle and conscience it has ever been my privilege to know. In him, the highest aspirations of public service found daily expression.
“He transmuted his tragic personal experience of the Holocaust into a lifetime of fierce advocacy for human rights and social justice.
“We will miss his mind, his heart, and his passion to help build a better world."
Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, had a profound and lasting impact on the students of SF State, where he taught economics from 1954 to 1983, before he was elected to Congress. He was named professor emeritus in 1983. As a member of the House of Representatives since 1980, he used his political office to improve the quality of life for those in the Bay Area and for others across the globe. The only survivor of the Holocaust to serve in Congress, Lantos was the founding co-chair of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which focuses on human rights violations worldwide. The chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and second-ranking Democrat in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Lantos will be remembered as a leading champion for civil liberties, animal welfare, labor rights, international education and the environment.
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