Although California State University, Stanislaus President Joseph F. Sheley admitted that it would not happen overnight, the University is undeniably on its way to becoming more recognizable with a new logo, updated motto and leaner naming structure, all of which were unveiled on Wednesday during his annual address.
“These will play a large role in extending the recognition, advocacy, and alumni support we have been receiving within the region and state — and, importantly, within the CSU,” said Sheley.
A committee, focus groups of 300 people, and consultants helped to design the new logo, which was revealed as a shield embellished with an “S.” Sheley said that the shield gives homage to the strong culture of Warrior pride and the artistic “S” also had historical significance that dated back to when the campus’ mark feature an “S” made from book bindings.
Sheley said that although the campus is and will remain California State University, Stanislaus, the committee also worked diligently to create an official naming convention in order to dictate the University’s less formal name as Stanislaus State and very informal reference as Stan State.
To demonstrate what this would look like altogether, Sheley asked a number of student athletes in attendance during the address to model shirts that were already brandished with the new logo and name.
In order to further enhance outreach efforts, the committee also created a motto to capture the spirit and essence of Stanislaus State: Engaging. Empowering. Transforming.
“Our community has to know we’re here; the state has to know who, what and where we are; the CSU must see our incredible strengths; and the branding process is a huge first step toward that becoming a reality,” said Sheley.
During his address, Sheley also touched on the number of significant accolades that Stanislaus State has recently earned, including being ranked as the top-value added public university nationwide by Money Magazine, earning a spot on the Princeton Review’s list of nation’s best 380 colleges for the tenth consecutive year and being ranked at No. 9 nationwide for its success in outreach and service to the Hispanic Community by the U.S. News & World Report.
Stanislaus State’s nursing program was also ranked in the top six percent of all nursing programs in the West Region by Nurse Journal and the University’s online Master in Business Administration degree program was ranked in the top 30 in the nation by the Affordable Colleges Foundation.
Additionally, Stanislaus State was placed on the prestigious 2015 Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for 240,000 hours of community service that was logged by students over the past two years.
“We are not simply here; we are making a difference,” said Sheley. “We are less and less America’s best kept secret. The Stanislaus region has in its own backyard a university of which it can be justifiably and publicly very proud.”
Sheley touched on the One Purpose Campaign, which raised $818,000 towards student scholarships in its inaugural year. Although it was the campaign’s first year, One Purpose was already honored as a Council for Advancement and Support of Education regional gold-award winner for best practices in fundraising.
“This year’s fund drive officially kicks off this week, and we hope again to experience public confidence in our graduates as the region’s future,” said Sheley.
Financial support does not end with One Purpose for Stanislaus State, as the U.S. Department of Education also awarded the University with a TRIO Student Support Services grant, which should reach upwards of $1.8 million over five years.
Sheley switched gears during his address and said that although “you likely don’t view our brown grass on campus as a success,” it was just one sign that showed how Stanislaus State, in partnership with the City of Turlock, Turlock Irrigation District and Turlock Unified School District, is a leader within the CSU system with its response to the severe California drought.
“We are all in this together,” said Sheley.
Stanislaus State prides itself in the campus’ miserly water use, which is achieved through a number of water conservation efforts. One way that the University is saving water is through its irrigation and rain reclamation, which captures rain and excess irrigation and stores it in the Reflecting Pond and four campus lakes.
This water is used for campus irrigation and the University makes up any shortfall of reclaimed water from the campus deep well. Additionally, beginning this month, the reclaimed water from this system is also used in the cooling towers at the Central Plant on campus, which directly cools most campus buildings. Water from the cooling tower will then be returned to the irrigation supply.
Sheley also took the time during his address to once again emphasize the importance of responding head-on to the issues of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct on campus. He recognized the efforts of the Aware, Awake Alive program, the Student Health Advisory Committee, the athletes who produced a sexual respect video, and Warrior Watch, which has trained 86 students to recognize and intervene if necessary in potential situations involving problematic sexual- or alcohol-related behaviors.
“They set the pace for a change in student culture,” said Sheley. “This is no one-year effort.”
Student athletes were honored for a robust year in athletics, which encompassed an NCAA regional championship win for the women’s soccer team, a conference championship win by the golf team, track and field athletes standing out nationally, and several individual athletes who earned All-American honors.
“Through the work of our athletes, our coaches, and athletics leadership and staff, people are noticing the Warriors, and the Stanislaus community is being noticed,” said Sheley.
Sheley said that Stanislaus State is also continuing to reach out to the community in a number of ways, including the Art Space on Main in downtown Turlock, the Department of Theatre’s Shakespeare Under the Stars performances, and the long-awaited return of the Fourth of July fireworks to the University campus.
Additionally, Sheley spoke about the recent partnership between the University, Modesto Junior College, and the Stanislaus County Office of Education: the Stanislaus Education Partnership. By teaming up, the coalition aims to increase college enrollment and college graduation rates throughout the region among other goals.
Sheley’s annual address was not complete without touching on budget and enrollment. This year, Stanislaus State was permitted to increase its enrollment by 4.6 percent, which not only increased college access for students in the region, but provided relief to the budget.
“California has not yet moved beyond the effects of the Great Recession; neither has the CSU,” said Sheley, “but things are looking better.”
However, Sheley said that the CSU system was “far from out of the woods,” citing that the amount that was given to the CSU system still has not been restored to pre-recession budget levels.
“The new dollars to our campus do not equal the perfectly legitimate calls on those dollars, and in our effort to deal with the challenges of the past eight years, we have developed a structural deficit and patched together year-to-year fixes to keep us in the game,” said Sheley.
“We need to begin stabilizing our budget with an eye to the future as well as to the present,” continued Sheley.