Member Spotlight

Having witnessed enormous changes on campus over the years, CSULB alumni Tom Walton relishes one in particular: the Student Recreation & Wellness Center.

Tom graduated from CSULB in 1969, “back when dinosaurs existed,” he joked. He worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for 40 years before retiring 13 years ago. After swimming in other pools on campus and finding the SRWC by accident five years ago, he never left.

“I told the people at the front desk that I’m an alumni, but they didn’t have records that go back that far,” he laughed. “So I brought in my ring from Long Beach State College (which is what they called it then) and they said, ‘good enough!’”

As he worked for 13 years as a middle school swim coach, he became highly involved with swimming. He now swims a half-mile every day at the SRWC.

When Tom attended school at the Beach, the words “commuter school” were even more real. Students simply went to class and left, failing to engage in any sports activities unless they were on a team.

“Things have changed radically,” he said. “On lower campus, there was nothing but parking lots—and rather than a parking permit, we called it a hunting license. Back then, they didn’t care if people were healthy or not; you could smoke any place, literally!”

Tom and his husband regularly utilize the SRWC as part of pursuing a healthy lifestyle. In addition to his own wellness, Tom enjoys his interactions with current college students.

“If you want to stay healthy and live a long time, you should use it,” he said. “I love the people that work here, the students that come here and the place itself.”

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