From his office in the Mary Stuart Rogers Educational Services Gateway Building and also from the vantage of his memory’s eye, Ron Noble has witnessed how much Stanislaus State has grown and continues to grow.
“That’s one of the nice things about being here for so long,” Noble said, gazing out his office window. “The pond was always there, and during early Warrior Days there were boat races. The Performing Arts complex always was there and the library was half-there, but the amphitheater was not there. The trees and the foliage obviously have grown.”
Noble is a willing and energetic volunteer at events across campus, serves as the commencement master of ceremonies, assists local charities and has hosted a local radio show. His hard work for Stanislaus State since first stepping foot on campus 42 years ago, always performed with enthusiasm, makes him the 2016 Alumnus of the Year for Service and Commitment to the Community.
“My first reaction was shock, then surprise and then something like ‘you chose the wrong person,’ ” he said. “But it’s easy for me to be visible because I’ve been here for 35 years. I’m all over the campus, I’ve done a lot of things and I’ve done some work in the community. Maybe it makes sense in that respect. But I didn’t think I’d done anything to receive this kind of recognition.”
Noble, a Los Angeles native, arrived in 1974 as a freshman transfer student from Cal State Los Angeles, graduated with a degree in psychology in 1977 and decided to stay around. He worked on campus for a year before earning his master’s at San Diego State, returning to Stanislaus to take a position in the financial aid office.
Noble became director of the Educational Opportunity Program in 1983 and later was named a senior director before becoming the Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs eight years ago. He will be joined at commencement by his wife Lynne, a 1978 Stan State graduate, and daughter Roslynn, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s from Stanislaus State.
In addition to watching the campus develop and mature, Noble has observed and been a part of the University’s flourishing presence within the region — something, he says, that became a priority under former president Marvalene Hughes.
“She was the first I remember who really talked about our place in the region,” Noble said. “It was obvious we were providing a lot of the teachers in the region, and Dr. Hughes wanted to know how else we could serve the region, for other businesses. People who grow up here and go to school here tend to stay here, and that’s an idea that has stayed with me.”