SF State Magazine { University Communications }

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Alumni & Friends

An Extraordinary Evening in Support of a Noble Cause

Celebrating a major milestone in University history -- 20 years of service to SF State on the part of President Robert A. Corrigan and his wife Joyce Corrigan -- alumni, city officials and friends gathered at the Ritz Carlton in downtown San Francisco on Feb. 4 to support SF Promise, a new program that continues the Corrigans' longstanding commitment to education and community service.


Attendees enjoyed performances by world-class musicians, including the University's Alexander String Quartet and saxophonist Andrew Speight, but the highlight was the announcement of the Robert and Joyce Corrigan SF Promise Endowed Scholarship Fund.


Established with more than $1.9 million in gifts, the fund will provide financial aid for eligible students who participate in SF Promise, a new University partnership with the City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Unified School District.


Designed to put higher education within the reach of all public school children in San Francisco, including those who will be the first in their families to earn a college degree, SF Promise encourages local public school children to work toward college as a goal. Those who meet eligibility requirements upon high school graduation are guaranteed admission to SF State; they can also count on financial aid, if necessary.


For more information on SF State's latest partnership with the community it serves, visit www.sfpromise.org


Trees emblazoned on the programs at President and Mrs. Robert A. Corrigan's 20th Anniversary Celebration were symbolic of the growth SF State has enjoyed during the past two decades. The visual theme was inspired by the president's Feb. 11, 1989 inauguration speech. In the speech, the president outlined his vision for the future SF State -- a university that would focus on the needs of its students as well as the communities from which they come. Twenty years later, innovative programs like SF Promise continue to grow and flourish at SF State, now a national leader in community engagement. In other words, the president's speech, excerpted below, represents a promise fulfilled.


"…Educators are often perceived by the general public as slow to move and resistant to change. We approach serious issues with the thoughtfulness and care that they deserve. For some, therefore, the pace I am suggesting for change and expansion may seem rapid, given the need always for long-range stability in the affairs of a great university.

"I am reminded, in this regard, of President John Kennedy's anecdote of the French Marshall, Lyautey, who once ordered his Moroccan gardener to plant a new tree the next day. ‘But,' protested the gardener, ‘why plant it? It won't flower for a hundred years.' ‘In that case,' ordered Lyautey, ‘plant it this afternoon.'

"Many of the seeds we plant this afternoon will not bloom for many years to come. As we think of the needs of today, we must meet the demands of tomorrow. A university, like the great trees that adorn our campus, must bend and shake a bit with the winds of change and adjust to new needs and expectations. But if we plan carefully, then the care that we take today, will ensure the quality of the institution that serves San Francisco in the next century …"


See photos of the SF Promise event


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