The George and Judy Marcus Funds for Excellence in the Liberal Arts

Photo: George and Judy Marcus

In November, 2018 George Marcus (B.A., ’65) and Judie Otten Marcus (B.A., ’62) became the University's largest donors and lead supporters of the BOLD Thinking campaign. The Marcuses funded and established the George and Judy Marcus Funds for Excellence in the Liberal Arts, a comprehensive gift to the College of Liberal & Creative Arts that includes four new endowed faculty chairs, support for student and faculty research, and program and facilities upgrades.


Areas of Impact


School of Cinema

Thanks to the Marcus gift, the School of Cinema is undergoing a profound transformation. Two new faculty chairs have been endowed — the George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in African American Cinema and the George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in Social Justice Filmmaking. Major upgrades to the school’s theater, studios, facilities, digital and animation labs are underway, as well as generous investments in state-of-the-art equipment for cinema, audio and virtual reality production.

“If you give this amount of money to a school like ours that has shown that it’s resourceful and does a lot with little, you have really changed the playing-field for what our students can aspire to.”
— Britta Sjogren, Director, School of Cinema




Creative Writing Department

This fall, the Creative Writing Department will begin the search for faculty with the following specialties to fill the endowed chairs: one each in Poetry and Fiction/Creative non-fiction, with literary focus on the African Diaspora, Latinx, Asian, Middle Eastern and/or Indigenous/ Native cultures. The department has also allocated its current-use funds for this year on supporting faculty summer scholarship and research costs, graduate student recruiting scholarships for the coming year, a playwriting workshop with a dramaturge brought in externally, and graduate student conference travel.

“We have amazing faculty who write and publish and put into the world works that are ambitious, strong, deep, astute, and which show social awareness.”
— Nona Caspers, Chair, Creative Writing Department




Student & Faculty Research

The 2019-20 student-faculty research grants, student research assistant grants, and undergraduate research curriculum development grants programs were launched in March 2019. After an extensive review process, the inaugural cohort of awardees was announced at the LCA Undergraduate Research Showcase in May 2019 (an event in its third year at which over 350 students presented their work). Both grant categories were oversubscribed and competitive, making the selection process rigorous and productive of a high level of quality.

“By supporting student and faculty scholarship, these funds make possible the fulfillment of the University’s mission of access and excellence to the highest degree.”
— Andrew Harris, dean, College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Stories from the College


Photo of a student and Jameson Goldner looking at an analog motion-picture camera

In Memoriam: Jameson Goldner, Professor Emeritus of Cinema

Goldner taught at SF State for 52 years and helped create Cinema program.

Photo of Colleen Daniher lecturing on Humanities lawn in front of students

15 New Tenure-Track Faculty Bring Diverse Expertise, Creative Innovation to Students

They include Emmy-winning journalist from Vice News, activist who studies feminist art at U.S./Mexico border, a researcher of viewers’ obsessive relationships with TV personalities.

Photo of May-lee Chai standing in front of bookshelves at The Poetry Center

Professor Chai's 'Useful Phrases for Immigrants' Wins American Book Award

The award honors outstanding achievement in an inclusive, diverse literary community.

Photo of Anucha Poh Maga standing next to his Honda Super Cub motorcycle

Largest Gift in University History Expands Research Opportunities to Undergrads

College of Liberal & Creative Arts undergraduate research fellowships launch this fall.

Photo of Kimberly Reyes standing next to a brick wall

Whether Writing Poetry or News, Alum Kimberly Reyes Is Always 'Running to Stand Still'

Former entertainment writer won SF State's Michael Rubin Book Award; debut full-length poetry collection coming this fall.

Photos of Josette Marsh and Kimberly Reyes

A Fulbright Future for Two SF State Graduates

Josette Marsh and Kimberly Reyes are the latest in a long line of awardees from the University.