Fresno State President John D. Welty, 68, announced in August that he would retire as president in the summer of 2013. During his 22 years of leadership, Fresno State has greatly enhanced its academic programs, overseen the construction of $425 million in new facilities and grown enrollment to more than 22,000. Welty intends to continue to serve the California State University system as a trustee professor at a CSU campus.
For the past five years, Fresno State physics professor Dr. Youngsheng Gao and Fresno State students have participated with scientists from around the world at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, in Switzerland. Their hard work paid off on July 4 when the existence of a new particle was announced. Fresno State is one of 40 American universities (including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Columbia, University of Chicago, University of California, Berkeley and Michigan) and seven national laboratories that had a hand in designing, building and operating the LHC.
On April 19, Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology broke ground on a new building for the Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market, made possible by a $1.5 million dollar bequest from the estate of Joyce Mae Gibson. The new market, scheduled to open in early 2013, was designed around a “farm-to-fork” concept so customers will be able to see and experience how their favorite Fresno State products are produced and processed.
In 2011-2012, Fresno State students, faculty, staff and administrators volunteered more than 1 million hours of service. The volunteer work was done by 16,405 people, which included 16,258 of the university’s approximately 21,000 students. Total service hours totaled 1,129,004, up from 1,053,481 in 2010-11.
In April, Fresno State launched an integrated marketing and communications strategy including a new logo and tagline to help the university build a stronger more unified identity and communicate with a consistent voice. The work was the result of nearly three years of consideration and the input of approximately 2,500 faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni and community members.
On Nov. 24, Fresno State beat Air Force 48-15 and closed their 9-3 season as Mountain West Conference champions. This was coach Tim DeRuyter’s first year, and the university’s first year in the Mountain West league.
In November, California voters passed Proposition 30, which allowed the California State University to avoid a $250 million mid-year budget cut. The university was also able to rescind and refund a $249 per semester tuition fee increase.
In May, University High School was nationally ranked by three different news organizations: U.S. News and World Report (10th best charter and 46th best school in the nation), The Washington Post (10th best high school in California and 85th best nationally) and Newsweek (7th best high school in California and 80th best nationally).
In September, Fresno State introduced a new live mascot, five-month-old Victor E. Bulldog II, who made his debut at the Sept. 15 home game against Colorado. Victor E. II’s predecessor succumbed to cancer in August.
Fresno State received more applications for the fall 2013 semester than they have ever received for a single semester — more than 17,000 freshman and 6,500 upper division transfer student applications. Fall 2013 applications represent an eight percent increase for freshman students and a whopping 25 percent increase for transfer students. The increase in applications to Fresno State reflects a trend across the California State University (CSU) system.