James M Rosser | Spotlight

A shining example of a philanthropic spirit

James Rosser

CSULA President James M. Rosser will be presented the 2008 Spirit of Philanthropy Award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Los Angeles at its 23rd annual National Philanthropy Day celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.

President Rosser, the fourth recipient of this distinguished award, will be recognized for his generous spirit, evidenced by his contributions in time, efforts, and resources to the University and the Greater Los Angeles community. The honor is given to individuals who have also demonstrated extraordinary leadership and vision in support of charitable agencies’ goals.

Dr. Rosser has served as president of Cal State L.A. for 30 years. Yet his legacy extends far beyond length of service.

According to his letter of nomination, “Incrementally—and, ultimately, monumentally—he has worked effectively to lead efforts to transform the hopes, expectations, societal participation and professional achievements of a generation of underrepresented individuals.”

Rosser, the University’s sixth president, also holds the rank of professor of health care management and professor of microbiology at Cal State L.A. Dr. Rosser earned academic degrees in health education and microbiology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Ph.D., 1969; M.A., 1963; B.A., 1962). In 2003, his alma mater awarded him an honorary doctorate, citing his pioneering efforts to advance the opportunities and contributions of African Americans in science and health care. In 2005, Pepperdine University awarded him an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws.

"The ‘Spirit of Philanthropy’ being recognized today extends far beyond me, out of the spotlight. Through the work of hundreds of devoted individuals on campus—and with the support of countless foundations, private donors, corporations, partnering institutions and others in the community—California State University, Los Angeles has developed a culture that has helped to transform the lives of countless low-income students from many backgrounds. The culture endures and grows thanks to the commitment and connections brought to it by these countless individuals.” – President James M. Rosser