News Release| 2013 Golden Torch Award; Cal State L.A.

March 31, 2013

Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser honored with NSBE 2013 Golden Torch Award

Los Angeles, CA — For his more than three decades of unwavering commitment and service to the University, California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) President James M. Rosser has been honored with the 2013 Golden Torch Award for Lifetime Achievement in Academia from the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

The award was presented yesterday, March 30, during the 16th Annual Golden Torch Awards ceremony as part of the 39th NSBE Annual Convention held in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Each year, NSBE honors individuals, companies and institutions that have produced a consistent body of highly distinguished work, served as role models for others, and advanced opportunities for African Americans within the industry. It recognizes accomplishments that have enriched both engineers and the world with intelligence, talent and vision.

“James M. Rosser was selected because of the significant impact he has made on expanding technical curriculum and his outstanding social, community and campus contributions,” said Erika Maseko, Golden Torch Award coordinator at NSBE. “We celebrate the many achievements Rosser has made.” 

Having served more than 33 years as president of Cal State L.A., Rosser has been recognized as a champion for access to quality higher education among underserved communities and for advancing programs that increase diversity in education and within the science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM) communities.  

CSULA is among the most diverse campuses in the nation in the ranks of its faculty as well as its student body. Under Rosser’s leadership, CSULA has established an outstanding and prolonged record of sending underrepresented students onto Ph.D. and professional degree programs across the country.  

Rosser is a respected leader within the entire 23-campus CSU system, and has led many initiatives that have improved student and faculty success. Some of his diversity-focused program involvement includes being one of the lead presidents for the CSU’s African American Initiative as well as the CSU Presidents’ Council on Underserved Communities. In the mid-1980s, Rosser authored the original plan for today’s highly-successful Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Loan Program. The program enables CSU to develop faculty from its own diverse student body by forgiving a portion of doctoral student loans for those who return to accept qualifying instructional positions within the CSU system.

In 2003, Rosser’s alma mater, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, conferred him with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, citing his pioneering efforts to advance opportunities and contributions of African Americans in science and health care. Rosser was also honored with the 2012 Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award by the American Council on Education for his outstanding contributions and demonstrated sustained commitment to diversity in higher education.  

Rosser became the sixth president of CSULA in 1979, making him the current longest-serving four-year public university president in the nation. His presidency is also the longest in both CSULA’s and in the 23-campus California State University (CSU)’s history. Rosser announced his intention to retire at the end of this academic year on June 30, 2013.  

For President Rosser’s complete biography: /univ/president/. 

For a list of Golden Torch honorees:

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 225,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.