More churches than ever took part in Sacramento State’s annual outreach touting the value of higher education as the University – and all universities in the CSU system – celebrated “Super Sunday.”

Top administrative and academic leaders represented Sac State on Sunday, Feb. 25, led by President Robert S. Nelsen, who received a gracious welcome at St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church from its pastor, the Rev. Ephraim Williams. Addressing a large congregation Sunday, Williams shared how his relationship with Nelsen has become a “true friendship.”

"Super Sunday" educational outreach brought smiles and "Stingers Up!" enthusiasm to St. Paul's Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, Feb. 25. (Sacramento State /Jessica Vernone)

The Super Sunday outreach is the continuation of a program in which, for more than 10 years, CSU has joined faith-based community leaders to promote the value of higher education to young people at churches in predominantly African American communities. Elsewhere, Ching-Hua Wang, the University’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, spoke at Antioch Progressive Church; and Ed Mills, vice president for Student Affairs, addressed people at Common Ground, A Covenant Church.

Congregants also were shown special videos urging their young people to think seriously about pursuing college educations.

In addition to hearing from University officials during the service, potential students and their parents had the opportunity to experience face-to-face meetings with representatives from Sac State’s Student Affairs, Admissions and Outreach, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Student Engagement and Success, and many other University departments. During these smaller gatherings, the young people and parents weere provided information about what it takes to enroll in college, and succeed once there.

Nelsen’s presentation at St. Paul’s was short and to the point – with a bit of humor. When listing reasons to attend Sac State, he included, with a chuckle, “Come and finally find parking, because we're building a parking garage.”

But his main message had a serious tone: “Sacramento State is an institution that is dedicated to our students, our region, our economy, and to you,” Nelsen said. “Come to Sac State. … Come in fellowship, and come and be part of the Sac State family.”

At Antioch Progressive Baptist Church, Wang emphasized the necessity of higher education in the modern workforce.

She noted that Uber, Lyft, and taxi drivers may soon be obsolete as self-driving cars take over the roads. And the Winter Olympics’ opening ceremonies showed the need for high-tech knowledge as illuminated drones performed a light show in the sky above the ski runs.

“You have to have a college degree to have a decent job,” Wang said. “We are here to make sure you are ready for college. And we are partners in the future success of your children and grandchildren.”

Visit the CSU website for system-wide information about "Super Sunday." Information about Sacramento State’s admissions and financial aid programs can be found on the admissions page of the Sac State website. – Craig Koscho