Cal State LA Downtown celebrated at grand opening festivity

Cal State LA Downtown ribbon-cutting ceremony

Cal State LA President William A. Covino welcomed elected officials and civic and community leaders on Monday to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of Cal State LA Downtown.

Covino told the crowd at the Sept. 19 event that the University looked forward to the opportunity to bring degree and professional programs to downtown Los Angeles.

“As the city’s premier public comprehensive University, we have a great responsibility,” he said. “It is our responsibility to think beyond traditional models of higher education. We must be as innovative and dynamic in our approach to education in the city we call home. It’s our responsibility to do more. That’s why we’re here.”  

Among those who attended were Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar, both of whom represent the area that includes Cal State LA Downtown. Other elected officials included Assemblyman Ed Chau and Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez. Representatives from the offices of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Senator Ed Hernandez and Assemblyman Miguel Santiago were also on hand.

“Cal State LA provides rich and innovative learning experiences designed to produce leaders locally, regionally and globally,” said Cal State LA Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Lynn Mahoney. “Through academic excellence and scholarship, our timely and relevant programs will continue to fulfill workforce demands.”

Added Vice President Jose A. Gomez: “I'm excited by the enthusiasm that Cal State LA Downtown has generated.”

Cal State LA Downtown opened in January 2016 with the mission of providing university programs and teaching in the heart of Los Angeles. The 21,000-square-feet, state-of-the-art facility is located at West 8th Street and South Grand Avenue, at the edge of the Financial District. The area is experiencing a residential development boom, with thousands of apartments under construction or in the pipeline. The new campus is a short distance from important downtown commercial centers including the Figueroa Corridor, Arts District, Fashion District and Civic Center.

Cal State LA offers undergraduate and graduate programs at the site, as well as professional development and certificate programs. Program offerings focus on meeting the needs of working professionals, those in career transition and those seeking personal enrichment.

Cal State LA Dean of Professional and Global Education Eric Bullard said the facility has also been a resource for the community, including government and non-profit agencies that have hosted meetings and training sessions at the site. The University is planning to expand its footprint downtown by adding more space for classes and programs, Bullard said. 

“Cal State LA Downtown awareness and interest continues to grow amongst residents and workers,” he said. “As a result, the evolution of our programs and courses is an ever-evolving process and key in attracting and addressing the needs of both current and future students.”

Photo: From left to right, Dean Eric Bullard, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, President William A. Covino, Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Councilman Jose Huizar and Assemblyman Ed Chau. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State LA)

 # # #


Cal State LA is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 27,000 students and 247,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State LA has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit