Alumnus Kim Kilkenny Contributes to SDSU’s Mission Valley Development

May 5, 2021
Kim Kilkenny
Kim Kilkenny

With over 37 years of experience in California land planning, environmental regulation, facility financing, and development entitlements, class of 1974 public administration alumnus Kim Kilkenny, has been extremely influential to San Diego State University’s Mission Valley development

Kilkenny is currently the vice-chair of the SDSU Campanile Foundation, and chairs the Foundation’s Government and Community Relations Committee. 

In 2017, Kilkenny prepared the first draft of the SDSU West Initiative, and sat on the executive committee which ran the campaign that enabled SDSU to acquire the Mission Valley site. 

Kilkenny knew of SDSU’s interests in acquiring Mission Valley due to his long time involvement with government and public service. His experience allowed him to draft this initiative and push for the development to happen. 

“Over the weeks and months [the initiative] gained momentum, we put together a campaign, got it qualified and ran the election,” Kilkenny says. 

Kilkenny added that, “during the campaign, we learned San Diegans have a very deep connection to SDSU. The initiative passed because voters are proud of SDSU and want it to thrive.The new Mission Valley campus will deepen that connection.” 

While working on this development, Kilkenny had SDSU’s best interest in mind and knew this project would “include a footprint for university expansion” and benefit the community as a whole.  

Kilkenny’s decision to take a deep-dive into this development stemmed from his SDSU experience and connections. 

“I enjoyed my San Diego State experience. I have managed to stay in contact with the university over the intervening years. I’ve also stayed in close contact with all my college friends, and we’ve had [SDSU] season football tickets together for 50 years...that’s been a fun, continuing part of my life.”

Once the Mission Valley site is complete, Kilkenny says he is most looking forward to attending the first SDSU football game in the new Mission Valley stadium. However, he also notes that, “the River Park and the expanded campus with an innovation and research focus will have a more lasting impact on our community.” 

Associate Vice President of Mission Valley’s Development, Gina Jacobs, says, “SDSU Mission Valley may not have happened if not for the leadership of Kim Kilkenny and many other alumni and community supporters.” 

“His belief in the university and commitment to helping us achieve our long-term goals will have an impact on generations of students and all San Diegans. We are grateful that Kim continues to be a valued advisor, sharing his time and expertise as we work to realize the vision of SDSU Mission Valley, something he helped put into motion,” Jacobs said. 

Dean of The College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, Peggy Shannon also thanks Kilkenny for his efforts in this development. 

“We are all so grateful for Kim Kilkenny's vision and planning expertise in helping SDSU develop its Mission Valley site. Not only will SDSU benefit from this magnificent expansion, but the region will feel its positive impact for generations to come,” Shannon said. 

Kilkenny is also known for his involvement with the Otay Ranch Company where he managed the entitlement and development of the 35-square-mile Otay Ranch master-planned community in South San Diego County. 

For 21 years, Kilkenny served as executive vice president of the Otay Ranch Company and secured governmental approvals for the Otay Ranch Master Plan which includes over 27,000 homes, 2,000,000 square feet of commercial land uses, and 400 acres of industrial uses.

Kilkenny is now retired and lives in Carlsbad with his wife Mary. 
The College of PSFA thanks Kim Kilkenny for his expertise and hard work and support of SDSU Mission Valley.   

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