Dear friends of Cal State Monterey Bay,

The first months of 2013 featured two impressive campus events that told much about our achievements and aspirations as a university.

February’s Have a Heart for Students Fundraiser was particularly memorable, not just for the more than $145,000 we raised, but for the stories we heard from several students who receive scholarships. Our outstanding speakers – Julia Ashen, Julio Castro and Emma Ramirez
– personified the range of students who benefit from Cal State Monterey Bay’s programs.

Julia was valedictorian at North Salinas High School before coming to CSUMB, where she has starred both as a scholar and as an all-conference member of our volleyball team. Julio, the son of Mexican immigrants who strongly believe in the importance of education, will graduate from our university this spring. Emma is also on track to graduate, an impressive accomplishment for a young woman who lived in 10 different foster homes before becoming a teenager.

Listen to these students, and you understand that Cal State Monterey Bay is indeed a place of extraordinary opportunity. 

White, Panetta, OchoaThen, in March, we hosted the Welcome Home celebration for Leon Panetta, who represented the Central Coast in Congress and rose to the highest ranks of the federal government. As a congressman, Leon was in instrumental in building political consensus around the establishment of our university after the closure of Fort Ord. 

The event was, by all accounts, a tremendous success. Well over 500 people attended the event. Many visited our campus for the first time and came away impressed.

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy, located at CSUMB, focuses on the importance of public service and civic involvement. As such, its mission is perfectly aligned with the goals of our university. We know that when we work together, great things can result – such as Cal State Monterey Bay. In partnership with the institute, our university could seek no higher accomplishment than helping develop the next generation of leaders who will follow in the distinguished tradition of Monterey’s favorite son – Leon Panetta.

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Eduardo M. Ochoa