A Golden Anniversary

University Hires Project Manager for 50th Anniversary Celebration

December 19, 2006

By Pamela McLaren

When Beverly Cartwright talks about Cal State Fullerton’s upcoming golden anniversary, the excitement is clear in her voice. It’s obvious that partying in a big way is a passion of hers — after all, she’s spent 22 years at Disneyland, most recently in marketing special events.
She has overseen everything from sports leagues to scavenger hunts and holiday parties for the Walt Disney Company — even the Rose Parade Float for the opening of the Tower of Terror in 2004. It was the first time in the New Year’s Day parade history that a float was removed from the post-parade presentation site.
“It was taken back to Disney’s California Adventure, where it was put on display for a week or so,” remembers Cartwright. “It was neat working with the float designer from the point of the metal framework through to its final decoration. It was pretty amazing.”

Q:        What have you been charged to do on campus?
A:         I oversee all the planning for the 50th anniversary in order to efficiently and effectively manage our resources. What I think is nice is that with my position, the university has one person who can serve on all the different committees and oversee the ways we can partner, share and coordinate things.
One of the things I have been heavily involved in is the Golden Ideas Initiative. The Golden Ideas Program was designed to give all CSUF students, student organizations, faculty, staff, alumni and friends the opportunity to request one-time funding for special projects that implement the 50th Anniversary goals.

Q:        What were those goals?
A:         To bring added visibility and recognition to the university, its programs and people; to increase participation in and support for the university; strengthen the bonds between the campus and the community at large; focus on the future of Cal State Fullerton; and to build an even stronger sense of community for faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Q:        How successful was the effort?
A:         We ended up with 120 proposals submitted, totaling almost $3 million in requests … and we have a $400,000 budget. Since the deadline for submissions, a review committee has been formed from a cross section of the campus to consider all the proposals and to make recommendations to the President’s Administrative Board.
We’ve identified a couple of proposals that are already in the works as part of the 50th, so they have been taken out of consideration. Once we get close to our final number, we also can determine whether some projects can receive partial funding. President Gordon will make final decisions and the results will be announced in January.

Q:        In addition to the review committee for thee Golden Ideas program, what other types of committees are you working on?
A:         The 50th Anniversary Planning Committee, made up of campus, community leaders and alumni, is the main committee. Alumna and Channel 4 reporter Vikki Vargas is the honorary chair and Judith Anderson, CSUF’s executive vice president, is the facilitator chair. Then we have subcommittees for events, marketing, community engagement and history. And a sub-sub committee of the marketing committee for corporate sponsorships.

Q:        What are the committees doing right now?
A:         All have submitted proposed budgets and we’re in the process of finalizing those with PAB. Already we’ve had some committees looking at what other universities have done to celebrate the 50, 100, 150 milestones. There’s been plenty of research into the types of events that have been successfully done and the merchandising that can happen. The Center for Oral and Public History even surveyed departments to create inventories of historical records and that type information.

Q:        What’s the next step?
A:         Our anniversary celebration will run from September 2007 to May 2008 — beginning with a weekend long celebration and ending with commencement. We know that as part of the kick-off, we’ll have special Convocation and Concert Under the Stars festivities, as well as a university open house and alumni reunion. We also know that we’re going to have special Front & Center and Vision & Visionaries galas that will be even more special than they usually are —to celebrate the 50th.
We’re also looking at other events that are held throughout the year that can be enhanced as part of the yearlong celebration. So, for example, we’re proposing an international conference that will be new, but other events, like the annual student leadership conference, will be incorporated into the overall festivities that recognize the achievements of the university and advance CSUF’s successful future.


Beverly Cartwright
Beverly Cartwright