Pat West, secretary of the 49er Athletic Association, was recently named by her co-workers as Employee of the Month.
West, who joined CSULB in 1989 after a career as secretary to the vice president of GTE, felt it was an honor to be named. “I love this school and I’m really proud to be recognized,” she said.
President F. King Alexander praised West as the heart and soul of the 49er Athletic Association. “She is always willing to go above and beyond in helping with events, donor relations or any other duty she is asked to perform,” he said. “She greets donors and students alike with warmth and affection. She always has an open ear for anyone who needs someone to listen.”
Her responsibilities include helping to raise support for student athletic scholarships for which she finds herself interacting with boosters.
“Boosters are exceptional people and very giving with their time,” she said. “I love sharing my life with the university and with these wonderful people. By the way, everyone in our office is a sports nut, which makes it special.”
She helps to plan special events from the Jewels of the Night, the association’s biggest annual fundraiser, to the Donor-Athlete Dinner.
“The donor-athlete relationship has been wonderful for this office and for the university because, for the first time, student-athletes realize that it is not the tooth fairy who gives money; it is a real person,” she said.
West is a member of Staff Council’s Executive Committee and the chair of the Ways and Means Committee as well as a participant in many campus searches.
“My work on the Executive Committee has been very enlightening,” she said. “I enjoy any opportunity to learn more about what goes on around campus. Chairing the Ways and Means Committee has been very satisfying. We help to prepare for Staff Day and the Christmas Cart Parade and we have a wonderful time.”
West says she especially enjoys bringing together foster children and student athletes every year at Christmas. “It’s a mutually beneficial relationship,” she said. “The foster children adore the student athletes.” One of her duties is to raise enough money each year to pay for film to photograph each foster child with Santa Claus as well as to obtain prizes for the Christmas raffle.
West is active in her support of the Daffodil Days fundraising drive for the American Cancer Society. “We have raised $8,000 for the American Cancer Society and we’re very proud of that,” said West. She also finds time to be a season ticket holder for the Long Beach Symphony and the Pops Orchestra.
Campus insiders have long known that West keeps a stash of Red Vines and chocolate. “NCAA regulations are very clear that there must be candy for all and not just for the student-athletes,” she laughed, “so I am prepared to feed anyone to avoid violations.”
West and her late husband Jim are the parents of six including twins Doug and Dale as well as daughters Pam, Susan, Laurie and Lisa. “Being the mother of six did more to prepare me for life at a university than any class I could have taken,” she said. “It taught me to multi-task.”
If a mother of six can be said to have hobbies, hers include sports and the theater. Not only is she a loyal attendee of CSULB sports but she often meets one of her daughters for Sunday afternoons at the Los Angeles Music Center’s Ahmanson and Mark Taper theaters. Beyond that, her goals are simple: to spend time with her family and to keep a clean house.
“Every day presents its own challenges,” she said. “I wake up in the morning with plans only to see them take a totally different direction with the first ring of the phone. The challenges range from someone becoming upset because they haven’t received their tickets to planning such events as the baseball lead-off dinner and the Sylvia Maxson Golf Tournament.”
West is glad she joined CSULB and encourages others to make their careers here. “There are so many advantages to working at CSULB,” she said. “There are so many intelligent and exciting people ready to share their passions. All I have to do is to be receptive and to ask questions.”
West received several gifts with her recognition including a CSULB sweatshirt, a $50 gift certificate to Domenico’s Pizza, a $10 gift certificate for the Katella Deli, a gift certificate good for any entrée and soft drink at the California Pizza Kitchen as well as a gift certificate for one free Whopper at Burger King.