San Diego State University Oral Histories



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Home >> Special Collections & University Archives >> San Diego State University Oral Histories

San Diego State University Oral Histories

Adams Endowment for the Humanities

Generous funding over the years from the John and Jane Adams Endowment for the Humanities has enabled the SDSU library to conduct oral histories of San Diego State University faculty, prominent alumni, and administrators. Most of the oral histories presented here were conducted by professional oral historian, Dr. Susan Resnik and were funded by the Adams Endowment.

Harry AlbersHarry Albers
Former General Manager of the SDSU Research Foundation
Harry Albers came to the San Diego State University Research Foundation in 1978.  During his tenure as general manager, Albers expanded the Foundation's income to $100 million.

Allan AndersonDr. Allan Anderson
Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies
Dr. Anderson came to San Diego State College as an assistant professor of philosophy in 1962.  In 1969, he helped to form the Department of Religious Studies, in which he specialized in Eastern Religions.

Andreas Brown, SDSU class of 1955Andreas Brown
Rare Book Seller and SDSU Alumnus
Andreas Brown graduated with honors from San Diego State University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. After an illustrious career as a rare book appraiser and dealer, Brown owned and operated the legendary Gotham Book Mart in New York City from 1967 until its close in 2007. 

Dr. James CobbleDr. James Cobble
Professor and Distinguished Administrator
Dr. Cobble came to SDSU in 1973 as Dean of the Graduate Division and as Vice President of the San Diego State University Foundation. During his tenure at SDSU, Dr. Cobble helped to found the Graduate School of Public Health. He became Vice President of Research in 1997.

Dr. Thomas B. DayDr. Thomas B. Day
Former SDSU President
Dr. Thomas Day became the sixth President of San Diego State University in 1978. Though at times a controversial figure, Day's eighteen-year tenure saw the creation of six joint doctoral programs, an increase in faculty research, and a great expansion of the SDSU campus.

Dr. S. EarnestDr. Sue Earnest
Distinguished Faculty
Dr. Sue Earnest (neé Wolfer) attended San Diego State College, and graduated in 1927.  In 1947 Dr. Earnest returned to San Diego State to begin teaching English, Psychology and Speech. She also spearheaded the development of a Speech and Hearing Clinic in 1950.

Dr. Brage GoldingDr. Brage Golding
Former SDSU President
Dr. Golding became fifth President of San Diego State University in 1972. As president, Golding instituted a successful affirmative action program, helped get SDSU into the Western Athletic Conference, and increased performance standards for faculty.

Dr. Elliot Hirshman, Former SDSU PresidentDr. Elliot Hirshman
Former SDSU President
Dr. Hirshman became the eighth President of San Diego State University in 2011. As President, Hirshman raised SDSU’s status as a top research university, encouraged student success through his program “Building on Excellence,” founded and endowed the Susan and Stephen Weber Honors College, and led a campaign through the Campanile Foundation that raised $750 million dollars.

Dr. Henry JanssenDr. Henry Janssen
Professor of Political Science
In 1953, Janssen accepted a position in the political science department at San Diego State College.  At San Diego State, Janssen was instrumental in creating multi-disciplinary classes and helped to found the Master's program in Liberal Arts. 

Dr. Albert JohnsonDr. Albert Johnson
Professor of Biology and former Dean of the College of Sciences
Johnson became associate professor of biology at San Diego State College in 1964, where he taught ecology, genetics, botany, and biology.  In 1969, he became the Dean of the College of Sciences.  In 1979, President Day officially appointed him Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Martha LongeneckerMartha Longenecker
Professor of Art
Martha Longenecker was brought to San Diego State University in 1955 to develop its ceramics program. Her influence extended into the San Diego community as she founded the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park in 1978.

John Martin, JournalistJohn Martin
Journalist and SDSU Alumnus
John Martin grew up in San Diego and majored in journalism at San Diego State University, where he worked as a reporter and managing editor for The Aztec. Martin worked for KCRA TV in Sacramento, and for ABC News as a national correspondent for over 25 years. After retiring he taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is now a public policy fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Earl NationDr. Earl Nation
Doctor and SDSU Alumnus
Dr. Earl Nation was born in Texas in 1910.  His family moved to San Diego in 1926.  During that same year, Nation started classes at San Diego State College where he majored in chemistry. He graduated in 1931.

Dr. Peter F. NeumeyerDr. Peter F. Neumeyer
Professor Emeritus, Department of English and Comparative Literature
Neumeyer came to San Diego State University in 1978, where he developed what has become the largest Children's Literature program in North America.  Neumeyer has published extensively on children's literature topics, especially E.B. White, including The Annotated "Charlotte's Web."

Eugene RayEugene Ray
Emeritus Professor of Environmental Design
Eugene Ray began teaching at San DIego State University in 1969, and founded its successful Environmental Design program. He has designed many unique buildings across the country, including his own home: "The Silver Ship," in La Jolla, California.

Sally RoushSally Roush
Ninth President of SDSU
Sally Roush became the first woman to serve as SDSU president in 2017, succeeding Dr. Elliot Hirshman. She was appointed to a one-year interim term by California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White. Roush was SDSU's Senior Vice-President for Business and Financial Affairs for 19 years. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, she advised three SDSU presidents.

Frea SladekFrea Sladek
Former General Manager and CEO of the SDSU Research Foundation
An SDSU alumna, Frea Sladek began working at her alma mater in 1969. As General Manager and CEO of the SDSU Research Foundation, Sladek garnered significantly more funding for faculty research, acquired property for the expansion of SDSU, and aided in the development of a marine science lab.

Dr. Shirley WeberDr. Shirley Weber
Chair and Professor of the Africana Studies Department
In 1972 Dr. Weber became an assistant professor of speech at San Diego State University. She helped to develop the curriculum for the then newly-created Africana Studies Department. She is currently Chair of the Africana Studies Department.

Dr. Stephen WeberDr. Stephen Weber
Former SDSU President
Weber came to San Diego State in 1996 as the school's seventh President. Under his leadership, SDSU saw greatly increased academic stature, student success, and community engagement, as well as physical expansion of the campus.

Bonnie ZimmermanDr. Bonnie Zimmerman
Professor and Distinguished Administrator
In 1978, Dr. Zimmerman accepted a position as a temporary lecturer at SDSU’s groundbreaking Women’s Studies department. Over the course of her career she went on to become a professor, chair of the department, and Associate Vice President of Faculty Affairs.


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