Victory for science fans

The wait is nearly over. After years of hoping, wishing and planning, the long-anticipated "Science II" building is one step closer to becoming reality.

The CSU Board of Trustees approved the project at its November meeting and the CSU system will provide $71 million in funding.

Sac State is seeking private support for the remaining $20 million for the facility which will include state-of-the-art teaching labs, interactive study spaces, a planetarium and the potential for naming rights.

"The new building will provide much-needed lab space and classrooms in fields where we are critically short on space," said Sac State President Robert S. Nelsen.

Plans call for the new structure to be built adjacent to the Hornet Bookstore and the University Union, replacing a parking lot. Groundbreaking for the project is scheduled for April 2017 with the first students taking classes in the new building in Fall 2019.

For more information on the Science II project or to make a gift, contact Laurie MacIntosh in the Office of University Development at (916) 278-6989.

Targeting graduation

James DragnaJAMES DRAGNA—executive director of the newly created Office of University Initiatives and Student Success.

Improving graduation rates is on the front burner at campuses around the nation and Sac State is no exception. In fact, it was one of the first topics President Robert S. Nelsen raised upon his arrival at Sac State.

A CSU-wide Graduation Initiative was implemented in 2009 in an effort to increase four- and six-year graduation rates and close the success-rate gap between underrepresented students and the rest of the student body.

Sac State's efforts are starting to pay off.

The campus goal was to halve the gap between underrepresented students and the rest of the student body to 7 percent by 2025. It is already at 6 percent.

Transfer student graduation rates also show improvement with a 10 percent uptick in the four-year rate for underrepresented students and 3 percent for all transfer students.

Though six-year rates for undergraduates are better, they are still well below the target of 51 percent. Four-year rates are half the target goal of 16 percent.

In response, President Nelsen put in place a number of measures including hiring "graduation czar" James "Jim" Dragna, who will serve as the executive director of the newly created Office of University Initiatives and Student Success. President Nelsen has also charged the campus to take a hard look at how classroom space is allocated, the effects of impaction and solutions for improving retention to get more students on a path to graduation.

Feel the POWER

The Power of 1,000 Hornets, Sac State's crowdfunding effort to build momentum—and funds—for an Event Center on campus is picking up steam. The much-needed facility will provide a multi-purpose venue for lectures, concerts, ceremonies and athletics events.

Power of 1,000 Hornets - Basketball Court

With the help of a $750,000 gift commitment from philanthropist Ernest Tschannen, Hornet fans and friends have pledged more than $934,000 toward the
$1 million seed-money goal. Early contributors to the campaign were honored at the center of Colberg Court during Sac State's victory over UC Davis in November and the first 1,000 to complete a pledge will be recognized with signage at the center.

You, too, can "join the swarm." To make your pledge to the Event Center, visit or return the envelope in this magazine.

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