Sacramento State names J. Luke Wood as next president

J. Luke Wood has been named the new president of Sacramento State University. | 

This morning California State University Trustees named the new president of the Sacramento campus. Replace the retiring president of Robert S. Nelson is J. Luke Wood, who will become Sacramento State's ninth president on July 16.

Trustee Diego Arambula, chair of the Sacramento State Presidential Search Committee, called Wood a "champion for access, educational excellence, and student success."

"He is an equity-driven leader with a demonstrated history of innovation, who will continue to elevate Sacramento State's vision during its period of continued, transformational growth."

Wood, 41, will move from San Diego State University, where he is vice president for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity and chief diversity officer. The appointment of Wood will be a homecoming as he earned a bachelor's degree in Black History and Politics and a master's degree in Higher Education Leadership at Sac State.

"It's about investing back in the community that invested in me," Wood said. "I know what Sac State is capable of doing. I was a Black male, former foster child, first-generation college student who struggled with food insecurity and housing insecurity and was able to graduate because of the incredible people and systems of support that were in place."

Political followers may recognize Wood's identical twin brother as Joshua Wood, a leading business advocate and founder of Region Business.

The Wood brothers grew up in the Siskiyou County town of McCloud and were raised in a large foster home. While in high school, he attended the American Legion California Boys State summer program at Sac State.

Wood met his future wife, San Diego State Child and Family Development Professor Idara Essien, while they were students at Sac State. They have three children, ages 7 to 14.

"Sac State is my home base," he said, "For me, it's coming home."
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