60 YEARS OF EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE

Women's History

“Nevertheless, she persisted" has become a rally cry of the feminist movement, but it could apply to all the female pioneers who've succeeded in the face of systemic sexism. Throughout the years, women have staked their claim in every industry, and the CSU is a prime example. Our faculty, students, staff and alumni have not only sent shards of glass flying from the proverbial ceiling but continue to extend their hands to uplift future generations. Case in point: Sonoma State alumna Molly Murphy MacGregor is a cofounder of Women's History Month, which we celebrate each March. Here are just a few of the ways women at the CSU have grabbed the world by the lapels over the past 60 years.

A groovy musical duo performs on a platform in the Watt Campus courtyard, 1968.

Stanislaus

Psychology Professor Cynthia Morgan, later dean of the Stanislaus State Stockton Campus, conducts class, 1970s.

Students sit on the grass by the small college on the Dominguez Hills campus.

Marvalene Hughes, Ph.D., speaks at the University Reflecting Pond dedication on October 5, 2018. Dr. Hughes served as president of Stanislaus State from 1994-2005.

Students sit on the grass by the small college on the Dominguez Hills campus.
Couples dance on the quad during the Indigenous Peoples’ Week Potato Dance, November 14, 2010.

Sonoma

Sonoma State alumna Molly Murphy MacGregor, left, poses with Pam Elam. Murphy MacGregor is a cofounder of the National Women's History Project, now known as the National Women's History Alliance. In 1979, she became the director of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women and took the plan for Women's History Week to Sarah Lawrence College, where the Women's History Institute for Leaders of National Women's Organizations was being held that year. There, Murphy MacGregor met Elam, who became one of the prime movers in getting Congress and governors nationwide to eventually declare a National Women's History Week.

A student couple takes a walk while holding hands on February 5, 2019.

San Luis Obispo

From humble beginnings in the university's HotHouse, Jessie Becker Alexander, '11, cofounded a startup that produces a novel device that can quickly and effectively stop postpartum hemorrhage. The device recently earned FDA clearance to help save lives worldwide, May 21, 2015.

A student couple takes a walk while holding hands on February 5, 2019.
Students share a kiss for a Valentine’s Day promo shot at the Brotman Hall fountain at Cal State Long Beach, February 9, 2017. 

Professor Denise Isom, Ph.D., accepts Cal Poly's 2020 Martin Luther King Legacy Award on January 15, 2020, for her years of work in building a more just, equitable and diverse Cal Poly. Dr. Isom serves as interim vice president for diversity and inclusion and chair of the ethnic studies department. At her award ceremony, a colleague said, “She is the embodiment of a hope for a better, more diverse future and takes every action to help realize that future."

Kevin Cahill (left), a professor of communication design, and Chip Lenno, chief information officer, met at CSU Monterey Bay when they both started working at the university more than 20 years ago. Because CSUMB has been so integral to their union and because they felt welcome and supported, they got married in the university's ballroom in 2008.

San José

Gail J. Fullerton, Ph.D., was hired as a sociology instructor at San José State College in 1965. She was appointed president of the university in 1978, the first faculty member to hold this role since Morris E. Dailey in 1900.

 
Enid Baxter Ryce (left), professor of cinematic arts, and Walter Ryce, public information officer, live in campus housing with their two kids, next to the chaparral and oak woodlands of the former Fort Ord, which was designated a national monument by President Barack Obama in 2012.  

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks at SJSU's commencement in 2015. Pelosi was the first woman elected to serve in that role.

Photo: Neal Waters

Mr. Cal Poly and Poly Vue Queen at the Poly Vue Dance at Cal Poly Pomona in 1956. Since CPP was an all-male campus until 1961, candidates for Poly Vue Queen in the early years were selected from neighboring coed and all-female schools.

San Francisco

Alicia Garza, cofounder of the Black Lives Matter movement, speaks at her commencement ceremony in 2017. Garza graduated from San Francisco State with a master's in ethnic studies and is a lecturer in the Race and Resistance Studies program. In her speech, Garza paid tribute to her mother and the remarkable contributions of generations of African American women. “Were it not for Black women, this Black woman standing right here in front of you would not have finished her degree while fighting for the rights of domestic workers and fighting for Black lives all over the world, including my own," she told the crowd.

Mr. Cal Poly and Poly Vue Queen at the Poly Vue Dance at Cal Poly Pomona in 1956. Since CPP was an all-male campus until 1961, candidates for Poly Vue Queen in the early years were selected from neighboring coed and all-female schools.  
Myra Jurado ’19 and Zaide Diaz ’16 are photographed at Presidio Park after saying “I do” at a friend’s home near SDSU on June 12, 2020.

San Diego

Adela de la Torre, Ph.D., chats with students on June 21, 2018. She is the first woman and Latinx person to serve as president of San Diego State University.

SDSU alumni couple Ryan Schuler ’13 and Maggie McCormick ’14 tie the knot in the backyard at McCormick’s parents’ home in San Diego, July 18, 2020.

Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D., is California's first African American secretary of state, an SDSU professor emeritus and former chair of the Africana Studies Department, 2012.

SDSU alumni couple Ryan Schuler ’13 and Maggie McCormick ’14 tie the knot in the backyard at McCormick’s parents’ home in San Diego, July 18, 2020. 
When San Francisco State students hopefully return to campus this fall, as the CSU anticipates, they won’t just be reuniting with favorite classmates and instructors. They’ll also get to say hi to a favorite campus couple, who double as a local landmark. The sculpted figures, created by artist Sandra Stone in the late 1970s, can be found by a much-traveled path near student housing on the campus’ west side. 

Maritime

In 2021, Cal Maritime hosted the 10th Annual Women in Maritime Leadership Conference on March 4 and 5, which supports the success of women in maritime. While the event this year was virtual, it has historically been an opportunity for women from across the nation to network and learn development and leadership skills in highly interactive sessions. At the 2020 event, Ally Cedeno, founder of Women Offshore Foundation, right, visits with one of the attendees.

Photo: Leah Wyzykowski

Students pose with Sammy the Spartan on the San José campus to celebrate Valentine’s Day, January 21, 2015.

Humboldt

Abby Abinanti, '70, journalism, is chief judge for the Yurok Tribe, where she is an enrolled member. Abinanti was the first Native American woman to pass the California bar and the first Native American woman in California to become a state judge. She also serves as a court commissioner for the city and county of San Francisco, a position she has held for 20 years. ​

Students pose with Sammy the Spartan on the San José campus to celebrate Valentine’s Day, January 21, 2015.  
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo President Jeffrey D. Armstrong and his wife, Sharon, pose for a photo near their residence during an evening in spring, May 17, 2019. 

Jennifer Kho, '99, journalism, is the managing editor of HuffPost. She has made her mark in journalism not only as a reporter and editor, but also as a newsroom leader for major media publications throughout the country. Her writing and photography have appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, as well as on Forbes.com.

Sonoma State couple Nolan Parsons and Josephine (Jojo) Marriner are all smiles, January 30, 2020.

East Bay

American labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta visits Cal State East Bay in 2016 to speak and reflect on her life and work in the labor movement. During a presentation titled, “Lessons Learned: Past, Present and Future," Huerta spoke about movements she helped mobilize, as well as how to advance leadership in our communities today.

Sonoma State couple Nolan Parsons and Josephine (Jojo) Marriner are all smiles, January 30, 2020. 
Cliff and Ann Bailey (far right), class of 1973, started their love affair at Stanislaus State. Their son, Clifford (third from right), also graduated from the campus in 2010. Pictured at far left is Stanislaus State lecturer Stephanie Jacobs.  

Aisha Wahab, who earned an MBA at CSUEB, is the first Afghan American elected to Hayward's city council. Wahab was the top vote-getter in a field of seven candidates, beating out two incumbents. Her priorities include pushing for more affordable housing, improving mental health, introducing de-escalation training for public safety personnel and boosting the overall economy.

Stanislaus State Director of Communications and Creative Services Kristina Stamper poses for a photo with her husband, James, on September 22, 2017. The Stampers met at Stanislaus State.

California State university

In 2018, for the first time ever, the majority of the CSU presidents were female. Find out more by visiting Women and Leadership.

Stanislaus State Director of Communications and Creative Services Kristina Stamper poses for a photo with her husband, James, on September 22, 2017. The Stampers met at Stanislaus State. 

SHARE YOUR WOMEN'S HISTORY PHOTO

Do you have a great Women's History Month photo? Email a JPG or TIFF to precord@calstate.edu​ and it will be submitted to CSU Dominguez Hills' Digital Collection Database for archiving.​