June 1, 2022 — A building that sits at the heart of the CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) campus – University Hall – will be renamed Richard R. Rush Hall in honor of President Emeritus Richard R. Rush.

Rush became president of the 23rd and newest campus in the CSU system in June of 2001 and retired in 2016. He first welcomed students and the campus community to CSUCI in 2002 and laid the groundwork for success that the institution has realized and continues to realize today.

The announcement was made during the CSU Board of Trustees Open Session the morning of May 24 during a meeting of the Committee on Institutional Advancement. Before putting the action item to a vote, Trustee Douglas Faigin said he was personally thrilled to see his good friend receive a well-deserved honor.

“The accomplishments during his tenure were significant, which included establishing an array of public partners that helped to raise nearly $49 million in contributions to support student scholarships and help launch programs to better serve regional needs,” Faigin said. “As the founding president, he established the vision and direction of the campus with a clearly-stated focus on students and their success.”

The vote to approve changing University Hall to Richard R. Rush Hall was unanimous, after which the room broke out in applause.

President Emeritus Rush expressed his deep gratitude when he took the podium, saying that he was “truly touched” by the honor, but that it did not belong solely to him.

“My name will be on the building, but the credit for creating Cal State Channel Islands belongs to the faculty and the students and the staff who took the dream of over four decades in Ventura County and turned it into a reality,” Rush said. “And so, with your permission, I accept this honor in their name because they are the ones who deserve the credit.”

Before Rush spoke, his colleague and good friend, Interim CSU Chancellor Jolene Koester, Ph.D., introduced him by underscoring that he has dedicated his life to opening doors to the transformative power of education for students from all backgrounds and all walks of life.

“You’ve led by example with passion, optimism, integrity, a lot of humor, grace, and with remarkable generosity,” she said.

During Rush’s leadership, the University developed long-term strategic, academic, and physical master plans, the budget and financial structure, infrastructure and road improvements, and the acquisition of adjacent land where the University Glen development now sits. He also successfully led the University’s efforts to achieve initial accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), as well as re-accreditation in 2015.

In addition to his service, Rush also generously supported students and the success of the campus. His personal philanthropy has supported student scholarships, the renovation of the campus’ Central Mall, and the University’s highest priority needs. The renaming is accompanied by $1 million in contributions made by donors in honor of Rush for this purpose.

CSUCI President Richard Yao, Ph.D. who led the effort to rename University Hall for President Emeritus Rush, also took the podium to express his appreciation for the foundation Rush laid for the entire campus community.

Yao pointed out that during Rush’s tenure, he hired more than 800 employees, launched new academic programs, and built out the physical spaces necessary for cutting-edge academic programs.

“Personally, I have a great appreciation for the dedication, effort, and leadership that it required to arrive on campus in 2001 and begin the work to build a brand, new university,” Yao said. “I am so pleased that this recognition is moving forward, and I look forward to celebrating the naming of Richard R. Rush Hall at Cal State Channel Islands in the coming months.”

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