President Jones Says Good-bye

Jan 26, 2021

President Geraldine Jones retires Jan. 29, bringing her 46-year career at Cal U to a close. Here is the message she shared with the campus community:

It’s time to say good-bye.

I’ll be retiring soon after a 46-year career here at my alma mater.

California has been my school, my workplace and my home – and it has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as the seventh President of this wonderful University.

When I enrolled as a student at California State College, I had no idea what a remarkable journey lay ahead. I didn’t set out to be president. I began my career with a strong desire to help students achieve success – and that has been my mission ever since.

In everything I have done – as a faculty member, an administrator and as president – I have tried to sustain this University and to put our students’ interests first. It has been a privilege to devote my working life to a place that I love and a purpose I believe in so deeply.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the hundreds of faculty and staff members who share my vision of Cal U as a place of opportunity. Together, over many years in and in many different ways, we translated that vision into action – and we watched our students thrive. My colleagues – my friends – I will never forget you, and I will always be proud of what we accomplished together.

I want to thank our students, too. Your energy and passion have been an inspiration. Your success has been my greatest reward. During this last year, especially, I have seen you rise to meet life-altering challenges. It hasn’t been easy – but you haven’t let hard times stop you. I have no doubt that you will continue to do amazing things.

Please stay connected and continue to lift each other up. Keep your eye on the prize and earn that diploma! We have an incredible network of alumni, over 61,000 strong – and as Cal U graduates, you will have that power behind you as you set off to make your mark on the world. I can’t wait to see what you will achieve.

I’m saying good-bye at a moment of change for our University. But I truly believe its future is bright. Over 168 years, California has grown from a normal school to a state college to a university, and it is ready to transform itself once again.

Our traditions and heritage are a foundation we can build on. We have the talent, the energy and the commitment to create a powerhouse university designed for 21st-century students. I am proud of our achievements, but I’m even more excited about the success that surely lies ahead.

Very soon, I’ll be watching your success from a new vantage point. I’m looking forward to settling into a new home and spending more time with Jeff and the rest of my family. My life has been truly blessed – and I am eager to begin this next chapter.

So thank you, everyone. Take care and stay well. Our beloved California has been a beacon of promise for more than 168 years – and I know that all of you will keep that beacon burning brightly for generations to come.