Adams State honors President Svaldi upon his retirement


Adams State University President David P. Svaldi (center), surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues at the May 15 retirement dinner honoring his contributions to the university.

Message from Arnold Salazar,
Chair, Board of Trustees for Adams State University

Higher education is in the news a lot these days, but we hear very little of the successes taking place on our campuses. Adams State University in Alamosa is the site of many quiet, yet important victories. Last spring the university launched its largest graduating class ever into the world.

Now, we are celebrating the contributions of Dr. David Svaldi, who is retiring after a decade as president of this small, but vital institution. He thoroughly committed himself to the university's mission of bringing higher education to underserved populations, namely low-income, rural, and minority students - often the first in their families to attend college.

Dr. Svaldi joined the Adams State faculty in 1986 as a communications professor, then advanced into administration. He was named president in 2006. The most notable achievement of Dr. Svaldi's tenure was university status, attained in 2012. This reflects the evolution of Adams State from a "normal school" founded in 1921 into a comprehensive institution that offers a range of undergraduate disciplines, as well as selected master's and doctoral-level programs.

Operating a small university in rural Colorado brings many challenges, not the least of which have been state budget cuts. Under Dr. Svaldi's leadership, Adams State emerged from tough economic times stronger than ever. Over the last decade, the university has achieved record enrollments, expanded its academic and athletic programs, and completed $104 million worth of campus improvements. The Adams State of today is more vibrant and sustainable than when Dr. Svaldi took office; his guidance positioned the university for even greater success in the next decade.

As Colorado's first four-year institution to be federally designated a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), Adams State has received more than $17 million in Title V grants to help foster success in all of our students. That, as Dr. Svaldi will tell you, is what Adams State University is all about.

On behalf of Adams State's trustees, students, alumni, faculty and staff, and the entire San Luis Valley community, I thank Dr. Svaldi for his dedicated service and leadership.

ASU Board of Trustees Chair Arnold Salazar presents President David Svaldi with a proclamation from Colorado Governor Hickenlooper that declared May 15, 2015, "David P. Svaldi Day."