Fresno State President John D. Welty screened a video for the Fall 2010 Academic Assembly on Aug. 17, 2010, to humorously call attention to the university’s Centennial celebration and the similarity of challenges to the school at its opening in 1911 and today.


California State University, Fresno President John D. Welty announced a pair of “1 million” accomplishments Tuesday, Aug. 17, at the annual Academic Assembly that kicks off the fall semester.

  • A $1 million endowment to the university’s new Center for Creativity and the Arts.
  • A record 1 million hours of community service and volunteering by students, faculty and staff in 2009-10.

During addresses to faculty and staff, Welty welcomed them to university’s Centennial year, which will be filled with activities designed to look back at 100 years of excellence and look forward to a second century. Fresno State opened its doors as Fresno State Normal School in September 1911.

Welty thanked the campus community for patience, resourcefulness and sacrifices in the past year because of state budget cuts and unpaid furloughs. The campus is still waiting for action from the Legislature on the current year’s budget, he said.

“I feel like a broken record: For the last several years, I’ve been up here for our Fall Assembly saying, ‘I don’t know what our budget will be because our elected officials in Sacramento aren’t doing their jobs,’ ” Welty said.

Fall enrollment is about 21,000, slightly above target because of strong demand. There will be 2,700 first-time freshmen, 2,000 upper division transfers and 750 new graduate and credential students arriving for classes that begin Aug. 23.

The $1 million endowment will support the John and Madeline Perenchio Arts Exhibition and the Andrew and Dorothea Perenchio Museum Studies Internship.

The new Center for Creativity and the Arts will introduce interdisciplinary, university-wide thematic exhibitions involving all campus colleges and schools. The center is envisioned to include a gallery, lecture hall and performance space. It will work with off-campus school and community organizations as it focuses on its vision of academic enrichment.

Welty said the endowment is another achievement of the Campaign for Fresno State, which has a goal of raising $200 million by July 2012. To date, the campaign has received nearly 92,000 gifts and raised $151.2 million, or more than 75% of its goal.

A million-hour community service goal was set Welty set in 2007, when he called upon the campus to reach that figure by the Centennial year of 2011.

“It is my great pleasure to announce today that we have reached and surpassed our 1 million-hour goal – and a year early,” Welty said.

The Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning reported that in 2009-10, more than 12,000 Fresno State students, faculty and staff provided a combined 1,162,101 hours of service. The estimated total economic impact is $28 million, measured by national philanthropic standards.

For more information on the Center for Creativity and the Arts, contact Dr. Vida Samiian, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, at 559.278.3056.

For more information on the 1 million hours of service, contact Chris Fiorentino, director of the Richter Center, at 559.278.7079.

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