Members of the Arts and Humanities advisory board along with faculty, staff and supporters of the college gathered at the "State of the College of Arts and Humanities" event at the Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre on Jan. 18. (Benjamin Cruz/The Collegian)

Arts and Humanities celebrate achievements

Members of the Arts and Humanities advisory board and supporters of the college attended the “State of the College of Arts and Humanities” event last week to celebrate achievements and to look forward to their goals in the new year. Faculty and staff also attended.

“It [was] a combination of expressing thanks, appreciating the hard work of all the faculty for the students and supporting the donors who make your scholarships possible,” Associate Dean Honora Chapman said.

Highlighted achievements, among other community involvement programs, included the 60th anniversary of the Peach Blossom Festival and the Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) annual touring performances.

The TYA tour, which has been around for over 50 years, has traveled to more than 40 schools and performed plays for more than 16,000 students, Dean Saul Jimenez-Sandoval said.

“Every day, you confirm the fact that, indeed, the arts and humanities are at the heart of everything we do in this society,” Jimenez-Sandoval said.

Chapman and Jimenez-Sandoval also spoke about the future of the College of Arts and Humanities.

The President’s Commission on the future of the arts and humanities department is exploring new academic and artistic spaces for the university, Jimenez-Sandoval said.

Chapman said the university plans to hire 13 new professors and increase the tenure density.

Fresno State alumna Alejandra Tejeda, who ended the event with a musical performance, said, “It’s truly an honor to be in this school and to be able to be given the opportunities that I never thought I could have.”

Tejeda took part in a student-produced opera and attended the 2018 National Opera Association Conference in New Orleans sponsored by the university and the donor-funded Dean’s Council.

The event took place Thursday in the Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre. The evening was led by Jimenez-Sandoval and Chapman, with remarks by Academic Affairs Provost Lynnette Zelezny.