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President Bill Eisenhardt Joins CSU Officials and Churches Uniting Behind a Message of College Preparation

(Vallejo, CA – February 17, 2012) – Dr. William B. Eisenhardt, President of The California Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime), a campus of The California State University, is among the group of CSU officials who will speak at Super Sunday events held at more than 100 predominantly African American churches throughout the state in February.

Eisenhardt will speak during the 10:00 a.m. service at Saint Stevens CME Church in Fairfield, Calif. on February 19. He will take the pulpit during the 10:30 a.m. service on February 26 at Saint Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Richmond, Calif.

The Super Sunday events taking place throughout the state this month are expected to reach more than 100,000 churchgoers. The effort is part of CSU's outreach to educate students and families about the requirements to successfully enter college and obtain a degree. Participants also receive information about financial aid and the CSUMentor.edu web site that provides the tools to plan and apply to a CSU campus.

“This is my fifth year participating in the Super Sunday program," said Cal Maritime President Bill Eisenhardt. "Since then applications from African Americans to the CSU has increased by 25 percent. What is particularly encouraging is the rising numbers of African American males who are applying, a group that appeared to be a lost generation in higher education before.”

After the church service, parents and students will have the opportunity to talk to CSU representatives and receive a How To Get To College poster -- a practical guide about how to prepare for college. The guide, available in several languages, in print and electronic form, provides the list of classes that students need to take from sixth grade to twelfth grade to qualify for admission to the CSU. It also provides tips for parents and mentors to help students succeed.

"The California State University continues its commitment to reach out to California's communities with the information students need to prepare themselves for success," said California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "Education is more important than ever. The CSU awarded 99,000 degrees last year and these college graduates return the benefits of their success back to families and communities while also contributing to the economic recovery for all Californians."

The annual Super Sunday event is produced by the CSU African American Initiative -- a partnership between CSU campuses and African American religious leaders with the goal of increasing college going rates among African American students. The initiative is led by Chancellor Reed and engages CSU trustees, campus presidents, executives and staff.

Matthew Jenkins, a member of the California State University Foundation Board, has additionally created scholarships for students attending churches participating in the CSU African American Initiative. Interested students will apply through designated church scholarship offices.

Efforts of the initiative are paying off, as more African American students prepare for and apply to the CSU. During the months of October and November 2011, the CSU received 16,588 applications from individuals self-identifying as African American. This is an increase of nearly 1,000 from the prior year.

For more information about the list of participating churches, times of service and locations, go to the Super Sunday website.

Visit the CSU External Relations website to learn more about the CSU African American Initiative and other community initiatives and partnerships to address college access for underserved communities.

ABOUT CAL MARITIME
Established in 1929, The California Maritime Academy, a campus of The California State University, is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Cal Maritime was recently ranked by Forbes magazine as #18 in the “Top 20 Best Value Colleges” in the nation – and the #1 Best Value in California for providing students with the highest quality education for their academic dollar. Located in Vallejo, Calif., the campus serves approximately 900 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. It also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 427,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. The CSU awards about 99,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.6 million. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.