In memory of Aaron Anderson

Aaron Anderson

SF State’s College of Business has lost an amazing colleague and friend, Aaron D. Anderson, Ph.D.

Aaron Anderson spent 25 years in higher education as a learner, educator and contributor. He dedicated the past several years as an administrator and instructor at San Francisco State University’s College of Business.

As the Director of Strategic Organizational Initiatives, Aaron successfully led many unique initiatives from staff development, to writing a strategic plan for the college technology group, to organizing our Make the Mission Statement Come Alive student video contest. He dedicated an enormous amount of time and energy coordinating every aspect of the College’s AACSB reaccreditation report writing and also data gathering in Digital Measures. He was able to jump "brain-first" into every new task, responsibility and undertaking with a positive confidence that was contagious. He was ever so collegial, a motivator, a team player, a creative thinker, and trail blazer.

Graduate Business Programs

Aaron also served as the Executive MBA program director and Graduate Business Programs acting director, and taught a managing organizational change course for the Executive MBA program at the college. His intellectual curiosity made him an excellent instructor as well as a mentor to the graduate students in his classes. He was able to inspire and foster creativity in his students and colleagues. For him, teaching was a lifelong passion and an art. Aaron was an expert in the area of organizational behavior and change, and the author of Engaging Resistance: How Ordinary People Successfully Champion Change, Stanford Business Books.

Honors and Recognition

His willingness to always be at the forefront of technology gained him honors and recognitions. He submitted one of the winning entries to the Management Innovation eXchange Digital Freedom Challenge. The purpose was to present ideas that expanded freedom in the workplace. And he was one of five instructors on the SF State main campus to be recognized for using the local moodle based platform and other cloud-based tools to build out hybrid or online courses. He was an avid writer and strived to write meaningful content for publications, journals, blogs and even Twitter and Facebook.

Life Outside of Work

Outside of work life, Aaron was passionate about many topics including civil rights and social action, education, and the environment. He most recently contributed his time as a Board member for Educate Our State, was an Advisory Board Member for Prolific Giving and the PTA President for McKinley Elementary School. Among his other talents, he was an avid runner, biker, windsurfer, and photographer. He was a truly dedicated father and husband, friend and colleague who treated everyone with respect.

We have lost an amazing soul, a great colleague, a loyal friend. His love for his profession and for life was simply infectious. His compassion, creativity, energy and vibrant presence will be missed tremendously.

Aaron posted the following when Steve Jobs passed away: “This man made one big dent in the universe. Beyond rest in peace, I would like to just say thank you, Steve.”

We send the same message back to Aaron. Thank you for making an impact on everyone’s lives. Heartfelt thoughts go out to Aaron’s wife and two sons, and his entire family, on behalf of his SF State family of colleagues, students and friends.

Read tributes to Aaron Anderson

Aaron Anderson Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Aaron Anderson Memorial Scholarship Fund is dedicated to building upon Aaron’s legacy of developing graduate students in the College of Business into talented professionals.

Please join us in supporting the scholarship fund by using the acceptance form (pdf) to complete your pledge or payment. Or, you may visit the San Francisco State University College of Business online contribution page. Should you have any questions regarding your pledge or payment schedule, please contact Timothy Anderson at or (415) 338-6599.

Thank you again for your dedication to helping SF State and the College of Business preserve access to a high quality public education.