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Approaching lunacy

Jack McGrory and Elliot Hirshman are on a mission to let you know when you’ve arrived at San Diego State.
Jack McGrory and Elliot Hirshman are on a mission to let you know when you’ve arrived at San Diego State.

It’s going to take some hefty cash for San Diego State University to finally find its way, judging by a new campus navigation project described at a recent board meeting of the school’s nonprofit Campanile Foundation, chaired by ex–San Diego city manager Jack McGrory. Called “Destination SDSU,” the initiative calls for the construction of elaborate new gates on main entries to the campus, as well as the remodeling of the big electronic billboard alongside Interstate 8.

To kick off the project, university president Elliot Hirshman is looking to scrape together $1.6 million to build the first big gate at SDSU’s Campanile Drive and Montezuma Road entrance. As the minutes put it, “There’s a significant challenge in terms of knowing when people are on campus as there is no destination point. Part of the project is to create gates or entrances in multiple areas so people can know 1.) that they are at San Diego State and 2.) that this is what we stand for; we have a certain tradition, history, and values and approaches.”

There was at least one skeptic. Boardmember Mike Pack “questioned the amount quoted for that particular project. He thinks it can be done for a lot less and in less time,” the minutes say. SDSU vice president for vice president for university relations & development chief executive officer Mary Ruth Carleton told the board “there will be naming opportunities for a gate/entrance; i.e., Smith Gate or Smith Entrance.”

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Jack McGrory and Elliot Hirshman are on a mission to let you know when you’ve arrived at San Diego State.
Jack McGrory and Elliot Hirshman are on a mission to let you know when you’ve arrived at San Diego State.

It’s going to take some hefty cash for San Diego State University to finally find its way, judging by a new campus navigation project described at a recent board meeting of the school’s nonprofit Campanile Foundation, chaired by ex–San Diego city manager Jack McGrory. Called “Destination SDSU,” the initiative calls for the construction of elaborate new gates on main entries to the campus, as well as the remodeling of the big electronic billboard alongside Interstate 8.

To kick off the project, university president Elliot Hirshman is looking to scrape together $1.6 million to build the first big gate at SDSU’s Campanile Drive and Montezuma Road entrance. As the minutes put it, “There’s a significant challenge in terms of knowing when people are on campus as there is no destination point. Part of the project is to create gates or entrances in multiple areas so people can know 1.) that they are at San Diego State and 2.) that this is what we stand for; we have a certain tradition, history, and values and approaches.”

There was at least one skeptic. Boardmember Mike Pack “questioned the amount quoted for that particular project. He thinks it can be done for a lot less and in less time,” the minutes say. SDSU vice president for vice president for university relations & development chief executive officer Mary Ruth Carleton told the board “there will be naming opportunities for a gate/entrance; i.e., Smith Gate or Smith Entrance.”

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Comments
10

How about just spending on education and not all the pet projects of the clowns running the institution.

April 8, 2015

"so people can know ... this is what we stand for"

How does a gate inform people of this? And, BTW, what does SDSU stand for? I got my degree there and I don't know.

April 8, 2015

swell: Back in the day it was San Diego State College and then when it became a state university they changed the name to University of California at San Diego or something like that. The pushback resulted in changing it to San Diego State University SDSU. People thought that the first name change took all the character away from San Diego State so . . . . History as I remember it.

April 8, 2015

Close, Alex. When the legislation changing the names of most of the state colleges to universities finally passed in 1972, a few of them, based on their long histories, were going to keep their old names with "university" replacing "college." I recall those campuses as San Diego, San Jose, Humboldt and a couple others. All the remaining ones would become California State University, Someplace. But the first bill to be passed and signed lacked that proviso. Hence for a couple years, SDSU was officially CSU, San Diego. Malcolm Love, longtime president of SDSC was the proponent of the name changing, and he went back and got the omission corrected. But for those who graduated from SDSU in 1972 or 1973, their diplomas were from California State University, San Diego. It was possible to go back and have them reissued with the current name later on. I have one, from 1972, hanging on the wall, perma-plaqued, that I never had changed. Now it is a historical curiosity.

April 8, 2015

Visduh: Thanks for the info. I lived 3 blocks from SDSC but I did not attend. (I was not bright enough to go to a college within walking distance)

April 9, 2015

I happen to agree with the idea that architectural forms can designate places. Otherwise why would communities all over San Diego have bothered with place signs, such as in Kensington, Hillcrest, Little Italy? Like gates in old walled cities of Europe, you know when you pass through that there's a There there.

As for graduates who don't know what their alma mater's institution's initials stand for, well, that's been a continuing challenge at party hearty SDSU. It's true San Diego State University (SDSU) used to be called just plain San Diego State, but when it was permitted to grant some graduate degrees, it became SDSU.

The University of California at San Diego (UCSD) is an entirely different school in an entirely different place. It's located in La Jolla and is one of only ten University of California campuses, grants (expensive) undergraduate and graduate degrees in many fields including medicine and, at the moment, lacks a single distinctive entryway.

April 8, 2015

I could have sworn that UCSD was the University of China at San Diego.

April 8, 2015

Haw, haw, haw! Very funny. Do you know the nickname of UC, Irvine is "University of Chinese Immigrants", aka "Under Construction Indefinitely?" Or that some wag said UCLA stands for "University of California, Latinos and Asians" There are many, many more such nicknames. (I won't even get into USC here.)

April 8, 2015

Gosh, I was going to say, that's pretty racist of you, Ponzi.

April 8, 2015

Why? Would saying there are a lot of children at DisneyLand make me a childhater?

April 9, 2015

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