Sac State Magazine is a publication produced by the Office of Advancement Communications and Stewardship at Cal State University, Sacramento highlighting alumni, students, faculty and staff.
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c sus .e du /s a c s t ate ma ga z in e | S pr i ng 2 015 15 loria Gonzalez has had many roles in her life: wife, mother, caregiver, mentor, advocate, volunteer and, for the past 12 years, Sac State's First Lady. But, take it from her husband, University President Alexander Gonzalez, she also has been a full and active partner in his presidency. "What an opportunity for us to be able to do so much for students and the community," says Gloria Gonzalez, reflecting on their time together. "I would never have imagined that for us when we got married. We never thought he would be a university president someday, but it's been a nice fit. "What I'm taking from this experience is priceless: Sacramento has been an amazing community. The people here embraced us, even during the tough times. We've made amazing connections, and we see alumni and students wherever we go. It's been wonderful." The Gonzalezes will continue to make Sacramento their home after his retirement and they plan to travel some and entertain a lot, with the president manning the barbecue. They also plan to return to campus to enjoy theatrical productions and other activities. Gloria Gonzalez was 17 and in high school when she met the 21-year-old airman first class who would become her husband. They've been married for 44 years and have raised two sons. "Alex and I came from the same area of Los Angeles and have the same background," she says, "so we had a connection early on that was amazing. We've always been partners during our marriage. "And even though Alex can be very serious, he's a generous, kind man who has helped so many people." Presidential partner Gloria Gonzalez embraces role as First Lady G initiative that Gonzalez launched in 2004. Among his goals: to foster excellent academic and student programs, build a welcoming campus, create a dynamic physical environment and develop community support. He envisioned Sacramento State as a premier metropolitan university, the flagship of the CSU and a destination campus for the West. A record number of first-time freshman applicants for fall 2015 serves as proof that Sacramento State is now a destination campus, with the majority of applicants coming from outside the Sacramento region. In addition, more students are transferring to Sacramento State from other CSU campuses. Gonzalez has been tireless in his efforts to improve students' lives, and the physical changes to the campus during his administration have been extraordinary. New facilities include the suite-style American River Courtyard residence hall, the Hornet Bookstore, the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Fieldhouse and a multilevel parking structure. Gonzalez worked closely with students on a referendum to fund construction of The WELL, a state-of-the-art student recreation and wellness center that opened in 2010 and which has become a central hub on campus. And the year before, Sac State acquired the former CalSTRS building, now called Folsom Hall. That building is home to the College of Health and Human Services Center for Health Professions, which includes the School of Nursing. Construction begins this summer on another student housing project, a $54.9 million structure next to the American River at the north end of campus. And Sacramento State continues to work with partners on the development of a satellite campus at Placer Ranch in South Placer County. Still on the drawing board under a new Campus Master Plan are a state-of-the-art Science II building and an event center. Under Gonzalez' leadership, Sacramento State also has raised more than $164 million and received such gifts as 150 works on paper by internationally acclaimed artist (and Sac State graduate) Wayne Thiebaud, the fully equipped HP Networking Lab in computer science, and support to provide future generations of math teachers through the estate of David Steinberg. During Gonzalez' time, the University awarded more than $43 million in scholarships and created 304 new scholarships, including the President Alexander and Gloria Gonzalez Public Service and Community Leadership Scholarship. Gonzalez also fostered such student programs as the Veterans Success Center, an general education Honors Program, an Executive Masters of Business Administration degree, a Business Honors Program, and the Guardian Scholars Program for former foster youth. "President Gonzalez has made a lasting impact on our campus and restored a new sense of energy that has brought back so many Hornet alumni," says Eric Guerra, incoming president of the Alumni Association and newly elected Sacramento City Council member. As president of Associated Students Inc., Guerra served on the CSU's presidential search committee that selected Gonzalez. Continued from page 12 Continued on next page