SDSU’s Charles W. Hostler Institute on Global Affairs Celebrates 80th Anniversary | Information Center


The campus and community come together to recognize the Institute’s legacy of facilitating robust intellectual discussion of challenging international issues.

Audiatur and altera leave. It’s Latin for “Let the other side be heard” and it’s the motto of San Diego State University. Charles W. Hostler Institute on Global Affairs. Founded in 1942 in the midst of World War II, the Institute was created as a place of lively intellectual engagement on international issues. Although current issues have evolved over the decades, the Institute has never strayed from its goal of facilitating robust critical debate, especially on highly controversial themes.

Speakers from around the world included ambassadors, Nobel laureates and world leaders addressing areas ranging from international diplomacy and academia to national security and protest politics. Recent topics of discussion have included drone warfare and targeted assassinations, international war crimes tribunals, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US foreign policy and Brexit.

On September 29, the president of the SDSU Adele de la Torre joined faculty, staff and community members at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center’s Fowler Family Ballroom to honor the Institute’s 80th anniversary.

The event included a panel discussion moderated by the Director of the Institute Nancy Nicholsonin which three panelists each presented a retrospective on a segment of the Institute’s 80-year history.

“It is a privilege to carry on the legacy of such a revered piece of SDSU history,” said Nicholson. “The mission of the Hostler Institute is more important than ever. We are committed to fostering global conversations with the entire SDSU community, which makes me very proud of our work.”

In 2004, the Institute was endowed by Ambassador Charles W. Hostlerformer Adjunct Professor of Political Science at SDSU, and his wife Hostel Chinyeh, a former SDSU student. Charles Hostler was a decorated veteran, whose unit landed at Utah Beach in Normandy, France on D-Day in 1944. After his retirement as a colonel in the Air Force, he served in appointed positions for three governors of California, and as deputy assistant secretary for international trade in the Nixon and Ford administrations. In 1989, he was appointed United States Ambassador to Bahrain by President George HW Bush, a position he held for four years.

Ambassador Hostler passed away in 2014 and Chinyeh Hostler, who attended the 80th birthday celebration, continues the family’s legacy of generosity. Originally from Taiwan, Chinyeh Hostler is a successful businesswoman, having worked for major financial corporations and later running her own import and export business. Her work experience and business travels have made her passionate about learning about different people and their cultures.

“We are grateful to the Hostlers for their visionary leadership, and to the Institute’s leaders and lecturers for continuing this important, long-standing tradition on our campus,” said de la Torre. “In our increasingly polarized society, I cannot overestimate the importance of the Institute’s role in creating opportunities for healthy critical discussions.”

The Hostler Institute is now located at SDSU’s Fowler College of Business. It hosts two conferences a year in conjunction with the President’s Lecture Series, which are open to SDSU and larger San Diego communities.

For SDSU students, the Institute has created a course in Global Affairs and Diplomacy (MGT 403). A student also has the opportunity to be selected as a Charles W. Hostler Institute Fellow on Global Affairs, and students enrolled in Fowler College of Business or pursuing a major in international business can apply for Hostler Study Abroad scholarships based on merit. Current Hostler Study Abroad scholars are located in Switzerland, Canada, France, and South Korea.

“SDSU is a cross-border university that understands its extensive responsibility to global society,” Nicholson said. “It is fitting that the Charles W. Hostler Institute has spent 80 years developing international awareness, encouraging critical thinking, and pursuing diplomacy through education. I am confident that he will continue to contribute to our community and to the world for many years to come.

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