Foundation News: August 2017

Photo of President Les Wong, alumnus Manny Mashouf, (B.A. ’66) and Associated Students President, Jackie Foley.

SF State President Les Wong, alumnus Manny Mashouf (B.A. ’66) and Associated Students President Jackie Foley presented remarks at the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Mashouf Wellness Center. The $86.5 million center was funded by student fees and private donations, including a lead gift from Mashouf. More details below.


This is a wonderful time for our campus as the new school year gets underway. With the completion of our environmentally conscious Mashouf Wellness Center, which received cheers and adulation from students, administration and community leaders at the ribbon-cutting celebration Tuesday, August 29, this beautifully designed new architectural gem is already a new hub for student life. Thanks to the persevering vision and generous support of alumnus Manny Mashouf, founder of the women’s fashion brand bebe, the Mashouf Wellness Center (MWC) marks the beginning of a new era of campus renewal for SF State. Soon to be confirmed as the university’s first LEED certified building, MWC welcomes the entire campus community and alumni to participate in a vibrant array of recreation and wellness activities.

During the next several years, MWC will soon be joined by other campus improvements that are now approved for construction. Made possible in part by support through the BOLD. Thinking. Campaign to complement state funding, these facilities include the new Holloway Project Gateway Building, LCA Building, and Kern Greenhouse at Romberg Tiburon Center.

As a result of the campaign leadership gift by Neda Nobari, Dr. Persis Karim was appointed as the inaugural Neda Nobari Distinguished Chair and director of the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies, the first center in the United State and the world! This endowed chair is a testament to the momentum inspired by our campaign to raise the profile of our faculty scholars as well as to enrich the content and impact of their work. Likewise, the campaign is enabling the university to create new professional development opportunities for students such as with the launch of a new Commercial Real Estate Fellows program, cross-campus President’s Leadership Fellows program and much more.

Further, our Athletics Director, Charles Guthrie, promises an even more exciting year than last when we nearly claimed the first varsity basketball championship in over two decades. With the assistance of the new Judy & George Marcus Athletics Scholarships his recruiting this past spring was exponentially improved! Will this be the year for a National Championship!?

We have a busy and exciting year ahead. Please hold the following dates on your calendar:

  • Mashouf Wellness Center Celebration Dinner - Thursday, October 12, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Mashouf Wellness Center
  • Celebration in Honor of Dr. Karim Persis, Neda Nobari Distinguished Chair - Saturday, October 21, 5:00-8:00 p.m., Hosted by Neda Nobari, 33 Dias Dorados, Orinda 
  • President’s Dinner & 2017 Alumni Hall of Fame - Friday, November 3, 6:00-9:00 p.m., Ritz Carlton

San Francisco State has certainly reached a pivotal time in its long history. Thanks to your ongoing support, we are now on the threshold of a burgeoning future filled with new and exciting endeavors. I’m so grateful to you as we look forward to the new academic year.

Thank you,

Robert J. Nava
​SF State Foundation President 



Photo of Persis Karim

Persis Karim Named Inaugural Chair of SF State’s Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies

With Karim’s groundbreaking and critical work on literature and culture of the Iranian diaspora, the center will enlighten students of her visionary ethos and provide insights about immigrant communities overall.
MORE >>>

Photo of crane at a construction site in San Francisco

SF State to Infuse Commercial Real Estate Industry with New Talent

SF launches the CREATE Fellows Program, a yearlong commercial real estate fellowship where students can get firsthand experience about the changing real estate landscape as construction booms in San Francisco.
MORE >>>


Photo of Christine Nevarez and Linda Platas standing in school yard.

Teachers-in-Training and Preschoolers Learn Together

EDvance — a constellation of programs at SF State’s Marian Wright Edelman Institute and in the Department of Child & Adolescent Development ― creates pathways to a B.A. for early childhood educators.


Science student in class observing an aquarium.

Five-Year Grant Aims to Improve Retention Rates for Minorities

SF State plans to address inequity in the sciences through a $1 million Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant focused on increasing the number of students of color graduating with degrees in biology.
​MORE >>>


Campaign Progress Bar showing $69.5 million attained


$1,001,313 from Howard Hughes Medical Institute to develop an understanding of cultural perspectives, integrate culturally relevant materials and transform undergraduate courses in the Biology Department

$500,000 from the Stupski Foundation to support the Metro College Success Program’s distinct contribution to student success

$492,755 from the Building Owners and Managers Association of SF to support the Commercial Real Estate Program and student scholarships

$370,000 from the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund to support EDvance 2017-2018 which is an early childhood workforce teacher preparation program

$165,250 from Mr. and Mrs. David B. Anderson to provide scholarship support to students studying the viola.

FY2017-18 GIVING TO DATE (beginning 7/1/17)

Total Gifts as of 9/1/17:


2017-18 Goal:


% of Goal:




Friday, September 15, 4:00-6:00 p.m. AT&T Park – Foundation Board meeting followed by reception and game

Thursday, December 14, 3 p.m. – Foundation Board meeting & Holiday Party, Reception starts at 5 p.m., Seven Hills or Mashouf Wellness Center TBD

Friday-Saturday, March 23-24, 2018, time TBD – Foundation Board Advance, Ocean Resort & Spa

Thursday, June 21, 2018, 4 p.m. – Annual Foundation Board Meeting, Seven Hills