Paying tribute to President Rosser

Timothy White and James Rosser

How do you recognize more than three decades in service to the University?

On April 11, California State University, Los Angeles hosted a gala to celebrate the legacy of President James M. Rosser and his 34 years of leadership on campus.

The theme of the event, "Hold Fast to Dreams: A Legacy Thirty-Four Years in the Making," is taken from a Langston Hughes poem:

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Former U.S. Representative Diane Watson ('67 M.S.) and Olympic tennis champion Pam Shriver served as emcees for the gala, which drew more than 350 of the University's most committed supporters.

"Throughout his career, Dr. Rosser has broken barriers and has served as an example of equality, freedom and justice," said Watson, who was a staunch advocate for Rosser's appointment. "He is a visionary who has kept Cal State L.A. relevant, current and among the best comprehensive universities in the nation. We thank you, Jim."

In 1979, Rosser became the sixth president of CSULA. During his presidency, he oversaw increased enrollment, advocated for arts education, and elevated the profiles of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and research. He has remained fully dedicated to improving access to higher education for the underserved, whether it's highly gifted students through founding the Early Entrance Program and Honors College, or establishing Cal State L.A. as one of the top universities in the nation to award bachelor's degrees to minority students.

In those 34 years, the landscape of the campus has transformed as well, with Rosser spearheading the additions of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) and the Alliance Marc and Eva Stern Math and Science School. He also oversaw the construction of the Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Golden Eagle Apartments, the Golden Eagle, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, a new University-Student Union, the Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex, the Public Safety/University Police facility, Corporation Yard, and the Television, Film, and Media Center.

Other presenters included CSU Chancellors Barry Munitz, Charles B. Reed, Timothy P. White and W. Ann Reynolds (in a pre-taped speech from the Tennessee Williams Theatre near her home in Key West, Fla.).

World-renowned mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzman performed "The Flower Duet" by Leo Delibes with LACHSA alumna Bianca Galacia, and later, the crowd was treated to jazz standards by four-time Grammy Award-winning vocalist Dianne Reeves.

Notable alumni, such as Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca ('71), tennis legend Billie Jean King, and Children's Hospital Los Angeles CEO Richard Cordova ('72) were in attendance as well as representatives from title sponsor Edison International and close personal friends from Rosser's alma mater, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

The CSULA Foundation underwrote the event so that every dollar contributed to the gala will go to benefit CSULA Honors College—a project that's very special to Rosser. The event garnered $2.58 million, making it the most successful fundraiser in campus history.

"As I stand before you, I am reminded of a phrase you may have heard spoken by Maya Angelou: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away," started Rosser in his speech at the gala. "Tonight has been one such moment for me. I am almost speechless. Tonight is also one in a long history of breathless moments that I have treasured during my tenure as president of California State University, Los Angeles. My time here has brought my life enormous personal gratification and pride in the accomplishments of our remarkably talented faculty, students and staff."

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Donors treated to Faces and Names at Warhol reception

Yvonne Levy ('89 M.S.) views the Polaroids on display at the Luckman Gallery.

President's Associates donors and lifetime members of the CSULA Alumni Association enjoyed a private viewing of the exhibit, Andy Warhol: Polaroids 1974-1987, at the Luckman Gallery on March 6. The reception was an opportunity for the University to thank some of its most dedicated supporters. Guests viewed the artwork, heard a short talk by gallery curator Marco Rios and had the chance to be immortalized and added to the exhibit by a gallery worker armed with a Polaroid Big Shot camera, just like Warhol used to carry.

The pieces in the exhibit were given to the Luckman Fine Arts Complex Permanent Collection by The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, which has donated over 28,500 photographs by Andy Warhol to educational institutions across the United States to serve as inspiration to new generations of artists.

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Mark Your Calendar

GROUND TRUTHS — Sept. 14
9 p.m. at Luckman Gallery
Ground Truths is an exhibition of work that uses reenactment, magic, substitution, and projection to explore the corporeal aspects of remote viewing. Accessing faraway places that range from physical locations to the psychological states, the works in the exhibition insist on making visible the physicality of shifting consciousness. Consisting of painting, sculpture, and video, the work in this exhibition employs remoteness and distance as powerful tools with which to gain perspective on our desires. Participating artists include Mary Hill, Anna Mayer, Nancy Popp, Rosha Yaghmai, among others. Admission to the Luckman Gallery is free of charge.
On view: Sept. 14 through Oct. 26.

KINKY

KINKY — Oct. 5
8 p.m. at Luckman Theatre
http://www.luckmanarts.org
Rock en español took a thrilling direction when Kinky debuted in Mexico more than a decade ago. An intelligent manifestation of rock, electronic and Latin rhythms, Kinky is in a realm of its own, producing riveting sounds and mixes. Distinctly unique and clearly authentic, the five-member group is certain to deliver an unforgettable performance that is as modern as it is retro.

16TH ANNUAL BILLIE JEAN KING AND FRIENDS EVENT — Oct. 12
5:30 p.m. at Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena
The Billie Jean King and Friends Event is the major fundraiser for Cal State L.A.'s Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, with proceeds benefiting the student-athlete scholarship fund. Honorees: Billie Jean King's former CSULA coaches, Dr. Joan Johnson and Scotty Deeds. (Tennis clinics available in the morning on the CSULA campus.)
http://www.csulaathletics.com/sports/2009/5/12/GEN_BJK09.aspx?tab=billiejeankingfriends
Call the CSULA Intercollegiate Athletics at (323) 343-3080 for more information.

LES NUBIANS — Oct. 19
8 p.m. at Luckman Theatre
http://www.luckmanarts.org
Grammy-nominated Les Nubians, recognized for their colorful auras, have intrigued audiences for over a decade with their inventive and glamorous "Afropean" style. Accompanied by their full band, Les Nubians will perform their latest album Nü Revolution.

24TH ANNUAL DISTINGUISHED EDUCATORS AWARD DINNER — Nov. 1
5 p.m. at Golden Eagle Ballroom
This annual event recognizes educational leaders who have made major contributions to local education. Funds raised during the event by Friends of the Charter College of Education support student scholarships and faculty development.
/academic/ccoe/
Call the Friends of the Charter College of Education at (323) 343-4300 for more information.

ROSSELLINI

ISABELLA ROSSELLINI — Nov. 2
8 p.m. at Luckman Theatre
http://www.luckmanarts.org
The legendary Italian actress and model marks the world-premiere of a new one-woman show based on a series of original short films produced by the Sundance Channel. Rossellini and co-writer Jean-Claude Carrière move the exploration of natural mating rituals of various species of the animal kingdom to the stage.

 

AMERICAN SABOR: LATINOS IN U.S. POPULAR MUSIC EXHIBITION OPENING RECEPTION — Nov. 16
Fine Arts Gallery in the Fine Arts Building
The very names of Latin music genres suggest an irresistible, unmistakable rhythm. Salsa. Mambo. Rumba. Cha-cha-chá. And through the decades, these distinctive musical styles have continually—and profoundly—influenced American popular music. American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music tells the fascinating story of that impact; Latino musicians helped shape many traditional genres of music in the United States, including jazz, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and hip hop. With beautifully designed bilingual text panels, striking graphics and films, listening stations, and musical instruments, the show celebrates the true flavor, or sabor, of Latin music in five major centers of Latino popular music production in the years after World War II — Los Angeles, New York City, San Antonio, and San Francisco. Sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund and traveled by SITES, American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music was developed by EMP Museum and the University of Washington.
http://americansabor.org/
Call the CSULA Fine Arts Gallery at (323) 343-4040 for more information.
Exhibit on view: Nov. 16 through Feb. 9, 2014. Gallery hours: noon-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturdays.

TRAORE

ROKIA TRAORÉ — Nov. 23
8 p.m. at Luckman Theatre
http://www.luckmanarts.org
Critically-praised Malian artist Rokia Traoré will perform her new work Beautiful Africa. Having recently received stellar reviews at several major international festivals, including Glastonbury, Rokia Traoré is at the forefront of the roots scene and has become the torch-bearer for the renaissance of African musical styles and fusions.

 

SINÉAD O'CONNOR — Nov. 24
7 p.m. at Luckman Theatre
http://www.luckmanarts.org
After triumphant, back-to-back, sold-out performances at New York City's Lincoln Center this summer, Sinéad O'Connor makes her Luckman debut in what will be her only Los Angeles performance of the year. Known for her eclectic musical style and raw emotion, Sinéad O'Connor reinvented what it means to be a female recording artist. Following the release of her ninth and latest album, How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?, Sinéad O'Connor has received the most resounding praise to date in her 25-year, celebrated career.

ANOTONIO ZAMBUJO — Jan. 25
8 p.m. at Luckman Theatre
http://www.luckmanarts.org
The preeminent force in the resurrection of male fado singers in a genre traditionally dominated by females, Antonio Zambujo makes his debut performance at the Luckman with his earthy and atmospheric interpretations of Portugal's national musical gems.

KIBBUTZ — Feb. 22
8 p.m. at Luckman Theatre
http://www.luckmanarts.org
Israel's most innovative and prominent dance company, Kibbutz has soared into the international spotlight as much for their exquisite technique, as for their figurative and abstract approach. Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company makes their highly-anticipated return to the Luckman with their critically-acclaimed theatrical event, If At All.

KARSH KALE — April 12
8 p.m. at Luckman Theatre
http://www.luckmanarts.org
Considered a pioneer and genre-bending artist, The New York Times proclaims Kale as "suave, modern and unmistakably India." Visionary composer and producer Karsh Kale will present Classical Science Fiction, a new groundbreaking work of classical Indian fusion and electronica.

CARLA BRUNI — April 26
8 p.m. at Luckman Theatre
http://www.luckmanarts.org
Singer, songwriter, model, activist, photographer—and former first lady of France—Carla Bruni will make a very rare Los Angeles appearance to perform songs from her fourth studio album, Little French Songs.

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