The changing of the guard at Fresno State headlines the Top 13 stories of 2013 on John D. Welty retired as president in July and was succeeded by President Joseph I. Castro — the university’s eighth president and the first Latino and San Joaquin Valley native.

This year’s list combines several stories about Dr. Welty’s departure and President Castro’s arrival into the “Changing of the Guard” category followed by 12 other newsworthy stories, in chronological order, to round out our Top 13:

Changing of the guard 

(May 22) — The California State University Board of Trustees named Dr. Joseph I. Castro, vice chancellor, student academic affairs of the University of California, San Francisco, as president of Fresno State on May 22. Also, Provost William Covino left to become president of California State University, Los Angeles and two vice presidents, Dr. Peter Smits and Dr. Paul M. Oliaro, announced their retirements this semester.

Joseph Slotnick dedicates $1.5M to Deaf Studies program

(January 25) — A $1.5 million bequest to Fresno State’s Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies in the College of Health and Human Services established the Joseph S. Slotnick Distinguished Professorship in the Silent Garden, an endowed faculty position that will bring experts in deaf studies to teach at Fresno State and work with the community.

University’s Kremen School honored nationally for teacher education

(February 22) — The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education selected Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education and Human Development as the winner of its 2013 Best Practice Award for Professional Ethics and Moral Dispositions in Teacher Education recognizing excellence in a school, college or department of education for purposeful attention to ethics and moral character in educating future teachers.

Student receives national honor for civic leadership

(March 21) — Fresno State junior German Marquez was named a 2013 Newman Civic Fellow in recognition for his community service and civic leadership — one of 181 students from across the country to receive the fellowship.

Campaign shatters goal, raising $214,222,190

(April 20) — The Campaign for Fresno State — the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in Fresno State’s 102-year history and among the largest in the California State University system — raised $214,222,190 in support of scholarships, faculty, programs and facilities. The final figure is more than 7 percent above the $200 million goal set in 2005.

University wins two awards for alcohol abuse prevention efforts

(April 23) — Fresno State was singled out among CSU campuses for its commitment to substance abuse awareness at the 2013 California State University Alcohol and Other Drug Conference on the campus of Chico State.

Alumnus leaves $5 million estate to Fresno State scholarships

(August 27) — Fresno State alumnus John W. Long died in January and left his $5 million estate to Fresno State to establish endowments funding full-tuition scholarships for more than 20 Fresno State students every year in perpetuity. Mr. Long made the bequest in 2012 but wanted no recognition for his gift, asking to remain anonymous until after his death and to name the scholarships for his mother Miriam Long,  who earned her teaching credential from the university in 1919 when it was Fresno State Normal School. Three inaugural Miriam Long Scholars will be named for the 2014-15 academic year.

University mourns passing of proud alumnus Peter Mehas

(September 28) — Dr. Peter G. Mehas, a Fresno State alumnus, student-athlete and servant-leader who was an unfailing advocate for his alma mater and a fervent Bulldog athletics promoter, died   Sept. 27. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the California State University system, which governs Fresno State and 22 other CSU campuses, and served as chairman of Fresno State’s Centennial Celebration in 2010-11.

Program among nation’s best for increasing Latino student success

(October 8) — Fresno State’s Commitment to Latina/o Academic Success & Excellence (CLASE) program was recognized by Excelencia in Education as one of the top programs in the United States for increasing academic opportunities and achievement for Latino students.

Fresno State earns national designation for economic engagement

(October 8) — Fresno State was one of 16 universities singled out for its commitment to economic engagement by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The APLU named Fresno State to its first class of Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities.

Brittany Beard named Campus Hearst/CSU scholar

(November 5) — Brittany Beard, a Fresno State graduate student in Counseling, was named Fresno State’s 2013 recipient of the William R. Hearst/California State University Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement. The CSU’s highest recognition of student achievement is awarded to 23 students — one from each CSU campus — who have demonstrated financial need, experienced personal hardship and model exemplary academic performance, community service and personal accomplishments.

Fresno State earns state titles at Farm Bureau collegiate competition

(December 13) — Fresno State agriculture student Jake Carlson won the individual state championship at the California Farm Bureau’s Collegiate Discussion Meet competition and the 10-member Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology squad won the state team championship. Carlson advances to compete at the national contest — the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Collegiate Discussion Meet — in Virginia Beach, Feb 7-10.

Poultry center, new farm market and sports medicine center open

The opening of three new facilities on campus continued Fresno State’s march into the 21st century. The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology opened the Foster Farms Poultry Education and Research Facility, a state-of-the-art poultry facility that is the first in the nation to receive certification from American Humane Association, and the new 4,800-square-foot Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market. Athletics opened the Meyers Family Sports Medicine Center that will be used by Fresno State student-athletes for preventative medicine, nutritional counseling, physician examination, injury treatment, on-site x-ray and rehabilitation services.

Related Links: Year in Photos


University Communications news intern Ashlie Day contributed to this report.