Longtime CFA activist and CSU Fullerton faculty member Mahamood Hassan passed away in October.

Hassan was actively involved in CFA and a fierce advocate for labor rights, serving on the CFA Fullerton executive board, faculty rights chair, and chapter president. He never shied away from advocacy, whether representing his colleagues from across a table or outside on the picket line. He remained a professor at CSU Fullerton until his retirement in 2016. When asked why he chose to remain at CSU Fullerton for so many years, he said that he felt rewarded by the contributions he could make at a public university with a diverse student population.

From South Africa, Hassan received permission from the apartheid government to attend the University of Cape Town, a public university that was reserved for White students only at the time. He earned his bachelor’s degree and later became a lecturer there. He was the only person of color in his graduating class and was the first lecturer of color in his department. Growing up under an oppressive, racist regime instilled in Hassan a relentless drive to overcome systemic barriers and to help others do the same.

He immigrated to the United States in the 1980s as a graduate student at the University of Arizona. In 1987, Hassan moved to California to begin lecturing at CSU Fullerton. After completing his Ph.D., he continued to lecture at CSU Fullerton and later became a tenured professor.

In 2015, his health suddenly deteriorated and he received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. He retired the next year and returned to South Africa to be near family. He passed away in Cape Town, South Africa October 19, 2023. He is survived by his wife and their two daughters. Rest in power, Hassan.

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