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A Message From the President

Walking around campus back in August, I could sense the energy. After over a year of quarantines and lockdowns, we could finally emerge, reconnect. And once more, the CSU campus was fully alive, teeming with its hallmark sense of discovery, growth and exploration.

Like most institutions countrywide — worldwide, for that matter — the pandemic dramatically changed how we do what we do, forcing us to peer behind the curtain into the mechanisms that drive our work. It means that, at times, we were forced to make tough decisions, but all with an eye on how to make CSU a better, more focused university.

In this issue of Cleveland State, you will learn about what I believe is one of our most ambitious growth plans to date: CSU 2.0. Our world is one of rapid, exponential development, a world where our students need to be equipped not only to navigate its complexities, but one in which they need to excel. CSU 2.0 is our roadmap to keep them on pace — and even a bit ahead — to join a demanding, ever-evolving 21st century workforce. 

I am delighted that three new, exceptional hires are already in place that are key to ensuring the success of that plan. In the pages that follow, you will get a brief introduction, but that will not be the last you hear from them.

In addition to learning about what lies ahead for the university, you will read about some of our impressive alumni who have folded their campus experiences and lessons into careers that are transforming the region and even the nation. One — alumna Marcia Fudge — sits among some of the most powerful in our country. All of them reaffirm my belief that CSU is an incredibly special place that helps shape the minds of extraordinary people.

Another first of sorts was Homecoming. Of course, this was not an inaugural Homecoming celebration, but it was in this post-lockdown, pandemic era. In some ways, it feels like a new world.  Thank you to those of you who donned your masks and joined us. I particularly enjoyed meeting the Class of 1971 and hearing their campus stories from 50 years ago. Interestingly, though much has changed, much has not. Cleveland State is and always has been a place that gives people the boost they need to succeed. It is something that U.S. News & World Report recently recognized in naming CSU the No. 1 public university in Ohio for social mobility.

As you can see, there is much to celebrate, and we are poised for even more growth.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the alumni community for your continued support. You help provide our students with hope, encouragement and inspiration to pursue lifelong goals. Your accomplishments strengthen our institution, galvanizing our efforts to make lasting contributions in Northeast Ohio. Quite simply, we would not be who we are without you. 

I look forward to seeing many of you in the days ahead, learning your stories and witnessing your impact.

Until then, keep your Viking pride strong and wear it with honor.


Harlan M. Sands, J.D., M.B.A.
President, Cleveland State University

Also in this Issue...

University unveils blueprint for the future: CSU 2.0

CSU charts an ambitious plan for growth and expansion, emerging from the pandemic better than ever.

Madam Secretary

Marcia Fudge (JD '83) is the once-reluctant politician who has risen the ranks to earn a spot in President Joe Biden’s cabinet.

Birth of the Vikings

Find out how CSU's moniker and mascot came to be.

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Cleveland State University Alumni Association
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