More than 900 community and business leaders trekked to the Reagan Library & Presidential Museum in Simi Valley on April 9 for a tribute dinner for outgoing CSU Channel Islands President Richard Rush.
Emcee Jeff Gorell, a former legislator and now deputy mayor of Los Angeles for public safety, heralded Rush for his vision and leadership in bringing the CI campus near Camarillo from startup to a highly respected member of the CSU system.
“You took on the opportunity and you nailed it,” said CSU Chancellor Tim White. “This is the stuff that legacies are made of.”
Cottage Health System CEO Ron Werft noted Rush’s role in developing undergraduate nursing programs in Camarillo and Santa Barbara to meet a huge unmet need on the Central Coast.
Top elected officials including U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Thousand Oaks), state Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Assembly member Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) and Ventura County Supervisors Linda Parks and Kathy Long were on hand.
The dinner honored Rush’s 15-year tenure at the helm of CI, which initially operated as a unit of CSU Northridge and accepted its first students as CI in 2002. Construction of the iconic John Spoor Broome library began in 2005 and the library opened in 2008.
Rush, a medieval English scholar who was recruited to CI from the presidency of Minnesota State University in Mankato, will be succeeded by Erika D. Beck, currently provost of Nevada State College in Henderson, Nev.
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