Leslie Wong Retires from SF State Following Successful Fundraising Campaign

Monday, June 03, 2019
Photo of Leslie Wong speaking at lectern at 2019 Commencement

NOB HILL GAZETTE -- Wong, who is retiring next month after seven years as president of SFSU, kicked off the University’s first major fundraising campaign, implemented a campus-wide strategic plan and elevated the school’s athletic profile. From a new Liberal and Creative Arts building to a forthcoming Institute for Innovation in the business college, the University is poised to continue moving ahead, even after Wong’s tenure is over.

“He made us think anything was possible,” says Venesia Thompson-Ramsay, the school’s interim vice president for university advancement. “He just has big dreams.”

The campaign, dubbed the BOLD Thinking campaign, is scheduled to continue for another 18 months, but it’s already raised more than 90 percent of that $150 million goal. Anchored by major gifts from Chris Larsen, an alumnus and co-founder of Ripple, and his wife Lyna Lam, and by George and Judy Marcus, also both alums, the campaign has not only improved campus facilities, but is also providing more scholarship money to students, increasing the number of endowed faculty chairs, and encouraging innovative programming campuswide, like the new Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies.