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Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Former CSUN President James Cleary Dies

Former California State University at Northridge President James Cleary, who oversaw the academic and physical growth of the campus, died April 28. He was 80. Cleary’s career at the university began in 1969 when the school was still named San Fernando Valley State College and surrounded by orange groves. Over the next two decades he guided the college as it became an urban facility with more than 50 buildings. Cleary died in Boise, Idaho where he moved with his wife Mary following his retirement in 1992. Mary Cleary died in 2002. The CSUN community is proud of the legacy both Cleary and his wife left behind, said university President Jolene Koester. Cleary was a widely traveled and respected educator during his tenure at the university. In 1986, he was chosen by the Exxon Education Foundation as one of the 100 most effective college presidents in the nation. In 1974, he was given the “Key to the City of Los Angeles” by then-Mayor Tom Bradley for his community involvement. Cleary was the prime organizer and first chairman of the Tri Valley Alliance for Education. Cleary is survived by his daughters Colleen and Janet, and two granddaughters.

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