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California State University, Long Beach

Cal State Long Beach's College of Engineering Brings Together Past Deans, Staff and Others to Help Dedicate and Unveil '50th Year' Monument

50 Year Monument Photo

In the photo from left to right: Professor Sandra Cynar, CSULB President F. King Alexander, Larry Vivian, Former Dean Richard Potter (1970-1983), Dean Forouzan Golshani (2007-present), Former Dean Michael Mahoney (1999-2007) and Interim CSULB Provost Donald Para.

To dedicate a new monument that signifies more than five decades as a major player in developing the engineering workforce in California, the College of Engineering (COE) at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) recently brought together the college's past deans to reflect of the college's successful past, praise its present endeavors, and look toward future.

The celebration culminated with the dedication of a “50th Year” monument, which is erected in the quad of the campus' Vivian Engineering Center. “It was really a pleasure to welcome so many who contributed to this college and its 52 years. We brought together the [COE] deans, faculty, emeriti and many members of the staff. We thought the dedication would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate our history, share some moments from our past and show gratitude to those who made all this possible. And we were right,” said Forouzan Golshani, who became dean of the COE in 2007. He was recently honored by the Los Angeles Council of Engineers and Scientists with the 2010 “Distinguished Dean of Engineering Award.”

On hand (either in person or by sending a videotaped presentation) to celebrate the dedication of the monument were all the deans who have served the college, except the first Dean Robert Vivian, who served from 1958-1967. He passed away in 1982.

All the deans addressed the audience to provide nostalgic memories of their time in the COE and to address other topics related to CSULB's engineering programs. They included deans Walter Arnell (1967-1970), Richard Potter (1970-1983), Richard Williams (1983-1999) and Michael Mahoney (1999-2007). The COE also paid a special tribute to Sandra Cynar, who began as one of the first female engineering students in the state 51 years ago at the university and is currently teaching computer engineering and computer science at CSULB. She also served as interim dean in 2007 before Golshani's arrival. This spring will be her last semester at the university before she retires.

The COE's history began in 1957 with several acres of mostly barren land and a few bungalows that were used as classrooms to teach the first class of just 128 students. Cynar graduated with an electrical engineering degree 1963 after seeing the COE get its first “real” buildings.

“We were so happy to get out of the Quonset huts that served as our temporary class and lab rooms,” she remembered fondly at the dedication.

Currently, there are nearly 3,000 students in the COE earning degrees in aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, construction engineering management, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

The COE has become one of the top ranked engineering colleges in the nation.

“The College of Engineering is in a great place. We continue to be ranked number one by the National Science Foundation for the graduation of master's students who actually continue to pursue careers in engineering and science,” said Golshani. “This is a great recognition. The college is also ranked 38th by the U.S. News & World Report and fourth in the west. However, what I'm truly proud of is the astounding recent increase in our graduation rate, which has grown to nearly 40 percent, and that is without any significant increase in our number of students. This is really the true testament to all that we do to ensure student success.”

Media Contacts: Paul Browning 562.985.2703
  Rick Gloady 562.985.5454

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