A video tribute may be viewed at “In memory of President Emeritus Albert Karnig.”
Family, alumni, current and former administrators, and members of the local community paid tribute to Cal State San Bernardino President Emeritus Albert K. Karnig at a memorial service at the university’s Coussoulis Arena on May 11.
That the gathering attended by about 800 people took place at the arena was appropriate, said Marilyn Karnig, Dr. Karnig’s wife of 53 years. “This place, this arena, this university was so important to Al,” she said. “And it just seemed right that this is where we hold his memorial service.”
Dr. Karnig, who died May 4, served as the university’s third president from 1997 until his retirement in 2012. Speakers remembered him for his passion for education and as a man who wanted to make the most of his life by serving others, known for his knack of remembering names and freely giving bear hugs.
David DeMauro, vice president emeritus of Administration and Finance, recounted the growth the campus experienced during Dr. Karnig’s tenure, both in enrollment, which increased from about 13,000 to 18,000, and in physical space with the addition of new buildings and the construction of the Palm Desert Campus. And with Marilyn Karnig and the community, he was able to increase CSUSB’s scholarship endowment from $9 million to $24 million, DeMauro said.
“As I stand and look at the audience here today — Marilyn’s probably going to be angry at me for saying this — but if Al was standing here, he would be thinking, ‘What a wonderful fundraising opportunity,’” DeMauro said, drawing laughter from the audience.
CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales recalled meeting Dr. Karnig in 2001, not long after he was appointed provost and vice president of academic affairs at Cal Poly Pomona. Morales caught a ride back to Pomona with Dr. Karnig after a meeting at the Chancellor’s Office …