CSUSB president promotes higher education as part of CSU statewide Super Sunday outreach
Office of Strategic Communication
Sunday morning service at St. Paul AME Church in San Bernardino focused on young members of the congregation who sang in the choir, read Scripture, played musical instruments and recognized for their accomplishments.
It was under this theme that Cal State San Bernardino President Tomás D. Morales, who was invited to speak at the service, emphasized how vital higher education is to young people.
“A college degree, as we all know, can unlock life-changing and transformative opportunities to you and your family and your community. That is the key on how to prepare our young people for college,” Morales told the church members. “It’s never too early to prepare for college or never too late to return.”
Morales and two other CSUSB administrators spoke at local African-American churches in the region, expounding the importance and value of a college degree during the 14th annual California State University’s Super Sunday presentations throughout the state.
Morales was among the CSU leaders, including Chancellor Timothy P. White, and alumni who visited nearly 100 churches across the state to deliver a message encouraging the pursuit of higher education.
More than a million people have attended Super Sunday outreach efforts over the last 13 years with more than 100,000 congregants, students and families slated to do so this year.
Morales added that it was important for parents, grandparents and family members to help young people keep their focus on education.
He talked about growing up in a poor family in the South Bronx. His mother, who never completed high school, never wavered in her determination that young Tomás was going to college.
Morales told the congregants of when he was in high school and met with a guidance counselor. He went home and told his mother that he was not college material according to the counselor.
“The following day, she got dressed and I said ‘Mom where are you going?’”
“‘I’m going to school with you,’ she said.
“Oh, Mom you don’t need to do that,” Morales replied.
“‘No, no, we’re going to see that guidance counselor,’ his mother said.
“And even though my mother was a high school dropout, she knew that I was college material and she told that guidance counselor, ‘My boy will be going to college. Therefore in high school he has to be in the college prep program.’”
Along with Morales, three other CSUSB administrators spoke, or are scheduled to speak, to congregants at churches in the region:
- Robert Nava, the university’s vice president for advancement, spoke at Allen Chapel AME in Riverside for the 10 a.m. service;
- Samuel Sudhakar, the vice president of Information and Technology Services spoke at Immanuel Praise Fellowship Church in Rancho Cucamonga for the 10:15 a.m. service; and
- Harry Le Grande, the university’s interim vice president for Student Affairs, is scheduled to speak at New Hope Mission Baptist Church later this month.
In addition, Loren Blanchard, the CSU’s executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, spoke at Life Church of God in Christ Church in Riverside during the 10 a.m. service.
Congregants also received information about CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025, CSU’s initiative to increase graduation rates while eliminating achievement and equity gaps.
CSU resources will be provided to help students and families to foster a college-going culture at home, including information about preparing for college, applying to a CSU campus and applying for financial aid.
CSU Super Sunday is one of many events supported by the CSU community to increase the preparation, retention and graduation of African-American students. The year-round partnership between the CSU and Faith Based community leaders throughout the state provides additional outreach, support and preparation events such as campus college fairs, financial aid completion workshops, Cal State Apply clinics and more.
For more information on Super Sunday, contact CSU Public Affairs at (562) 951-4800. For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit the Inside CSUSB website.