April 07, 2004
CONTACT: Linda Mikiata, 661/664-3052 or lmikita@csub.edu

A retirement dinner and program to honor California State University, Bakersfield President Tomás A. Arciniega and recognize the growth and accomplishments realized under his leadership is scheduled for Saturday, May 1.

In May 2003, Arciniega announced his plans to retire on June 30, after 21 years of service and leadership that have guided CSUB through two-thirds of its development. During this time, CSUB has grown and become a thriving comprehensive regional university.

Honorary co-chairs for the May 1 dinner and program will be Rayburn Dezember, George Martin, Pete Parra, and Milt Younger.

California State College, Bakersfield, as it was then known, first opened its doors in fall 1970. According to Younger, “This came after years of legislative advocacy by a myriad of local leaders, including legendary State Sen. Walter Stiern and Assemblywoman Dorothy Donahoe.” In the 1960’s, Kern County and the Southern San Joaquin Valley was the last major populated region of the state without a state college or university within a 100-mile radius. Local leaders envisioned a thriving public university that would be responsive to the broad educational needs of the region.

In its early years, the college developed a high quality collection of core liberal arts degree offerings. Under Arciniega’s leadership, the college was granted full university status in November 1987. Today, CSUB boasts a comprehensive array of professional degree programs in teacher education, business and public administration, criminal justice, computer science, and social work – in addition to the core disciplines in humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and the natural sciences.

“Under President Arciniega’s leadership, CSUB has grown in every dimension,” Martin said. “Enrollment has tripled and new state-of-the-art buildings have been built. The university is closely linked to every aspect of this community including local government and our public schools.”

Today, a full two-thirds of Kern County high school graduates who attend any California State University attend CSUB.

“The dream of Kern County’s early visions is being realized,” Parra said. “CSUB has truly become a people’s university. This event is being planned as a true community celebration of what CSUB has become, and the solid foundation which has been laid for its continuing future growth.”

The event will be held at Seven Oaks Country Club. Tickets are $100 each. The social will begin at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m., followed by the program at 8 p.m. For more information, please call (661) 664-3052.