from the desk of Harlan Sands

To Our CSU Community,

As we begin a new week, I’d like to ask all of you to pause and quietly remember a true advocate and friend of Cleveland State University. Former Ohio Rep. Patrick Sweeney was laid to rest this weekend, honored for the indelible mark he left on Ohio politics and across our community. ¬†As an advocate for higher education, his legacy is woven into the very fabric of CSU.

Mr. Sweeney’s connection to us was both professional and personal.

While serving in the state legislature for more than three decades, he fought to obtain funding that early on positioned the Levin College of Urban Affairs to become nationally recognized for its programs in urban studies and public management. His role in the legislature was key to the College getting the funding necessary to support the Ohio Urban University Program (UUP), allowing CSU and the state's other urban universities to play a more significant role in their respective areas.

After his retirement from politics, he continued to support CSU, joining the university as Executive-in-Residence and Assistant to the Vice President of Governmental Relations. He shared his years of experience on the front lines of the legislature with his students and coordinated the “Columbus Seminar” class that provided students with direct experience with state government, independent agencies, the media, and non-governmental organizations.

It was on our campus that Mr. Sweeney first met his wife Emily, and he went on to celebrate both his wife and daughter Margaret Anne graduating from Cleveland-Marshall Law School. He was known for avidly cheering for Viking athletics from the center court of the Wolstein Center and truly exemplified to all, his true “Viking for Life” spirit.

Today as we lower our CSU flag to half-staff, please join me in sharing our condolences with the Sweeney family, and our profound gratitude for his unwavering dedication, commitment and advocacy on behalf of CSU.

Harlan M. Sands
Cleveland State University

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