Presidential seal

June 17, 2020

Good afternoon Council President Gomez and members of the Council.

When two public agencies embark on an agreement of this size and scope, it requires leadership at all levels.

Leadership by the community to see a grander vision for this site.

Leadership by your City to sell one of its most scrutinized assets, understanding that education will allow for its highest and best use.

Leadership by a public university system to take the unprecedented step of buying a large swath of land for expansion, with the goal of building an even stronger relationship with public and private partners and the local community.

And leadership from all of us to ensure this deal is fair and equitable for the public that we both serve.

That kind of leadership can be difficult at times, but leading often is. 

Today is the next historic step in our joint leadership for San Diego.

The opportunities that will be created by SDSU Mission Valley are limitless.

Our goal has always been to expand our campus providing us with the opportunity to serve more students.

When you make higher education attainable and accessible, you start to create the institutional change that our country is craving right now.

Nelson Mandela famously said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” He was right.

And as the largest and most diverse university system in the country, we strive to educate everyone. We promote a rich diversity of students through our policies and programs, and our faculty and staff. We seek first generation college students, veterans, foster youth, scholar athletes, and international students to create an atmosphere of learning and respect.

It is this atmosphere that will be carried over to the much anticipated River Park that we will build.  It has been designed WITH the community and will be a true regional asset that will enhance and connect Mission Valley and draw visitors from across San Diego.

We will also build much needed housing, including affordable housing. As a region we must build more housing to reduce the inequities is our community. And as a university we must be able to offer competitively priced housing in order to attract the quality faculty and staff that our students deserve.

And our expanded campus will leverage San Diego’s strengths to further merge SDSU’s research and innovation enterprise with our educational mission of facilitating new ideas, to helping expand the regional economy.

San Diego State University is home to astronaut Ellen Ochoa, hall of famer Tony Gwynn, film maker Kathleen Kennedy, 36,000 current undergraduate and graduate students, and 400,000 alumni, including many of you in this room. 

Our graduates create and lead globally and locally.  We will continue to be the university that supplies our region’s largest employers with the engineers, the public health experts, and the business leaders they need. We will continue to be the university that educates our children’s educators, and we will even continue to be the university that produces Major League Baseball and NBA MVPs.

And, at our core we will always be San Diego.

We are grateful for your support. We thank you for helping San Diego State University take this next step in realizing our greater potential and your role in helping the many generations of students that will benefit from this project.

Thank you.

Our leadership team is available both in person and on the phone for any questions.