New president welcomes faculty, staff to 2019-2020 academic year

Lynn Mahoney standing behond a podium

President Lynn Mahoney called the University an ‘engine of educational equity and social change’ at the 2019 University Opening Convocation Aug. 22

San Francisco State University officially opened its 2019-2020 academic year with the first public address by its new president, Lynn Mahoney. The first woman to hold the position in a permanent capacity, President Mahoney voiced her commitment to student success at the 2019 University Opening Convocation, held Thursday, Aug. 22, in San Francisco State’s McKenna Theatre.

“We are an engine of educational equity and social change,” Mahoney said. “We educate America’s new majorities and in doing so provide upward mobility for our students and their families and transform our communities and our region.”

Mahoney highlighted a number of recent achievements at SF State, such as a $14.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to enhance diversity in the biomedical sciences and the opening of the Associated Students refrigerated food pantry in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. Looking ahead, Mahoney highlighted major projects on her agenda for the coming year, including completion of an academic master plan and implementing recommendations resulting from last year’s Campus Climate Survey. Mahoney also said she plans to visit departments and offices across campus to learn how she can continue to make SF State a great place to learn and work.

“Much of U.S. history is the story of ordinary people working together to change their worlds — asserting their right to be included, fighting for others to be included and demanding that the U.S. live up to the principles of equity and inclusion,” said Mahoney, a social historian who has held leadership positions at universities across the country. “No university better exemplifies this work than San Francisco State University.”

SF State also welcomed more than 35 new faculty members and 10 new Athletics coaches at the event, which featured addresses by other campus leaders, including the deans of the six academic colleges, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jennifer Summit and Director of Athletics Stephanie Shrieve-Hawkins. Recipients of the University’s Distinguished Faculty Awards were also recognized at the event for their contributions to the campus community.