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Norma Rees is photographed at last year's Investiture ceremony for President Leroy Morishita. (Photo courtesy of courtesy of CSU East Bay)

HAYWARD -- A former longtime president of Cal State East Bay died at home Thursday at age 83.

Norma Rees led the Hayward campus for 16 years until 2006, leaving her mark with new buildings and a different name for the university. The year before she left, she led a successful campaign to change the campus' name from Cal State Hayward to Cal State East Bay to broaden its appeal as a regional institution.

"We are fortunate to have benefited from Dr. Rees' leadership and the legacy she has left for Cal State East Bay," current president Leroy Morishita wrote on Friday, as he announced the news to the campus.

Rees was one of the first women to lead a CSU campus when she took the post in 1990. According to the university, she oversaw $70 million in construction and other physical improvements to the Hayward hills campus. She also expanded the satellite campus in Concord.

The new buildings completed during her presidency included the Valley Business and Technology Center, the New University Union, and three student residential halls.

Rees was born and raised in New York City. Before moving to Hayward in 1990, Rees held positions in the higher education systems of Wisconsin and New York City.

She is survived by two sons, Raymond A. Rees and Evan L. Rees.


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No funeral is planned, but her family may schedule a memorial for the university and Hayward community, said Barry Zepel, a university spokesman.

Follow Katy Murphy at Twitter.com/katymurphy.