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Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White - May 4, 2017

Remarks by Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
San José State University Investiture Ceremony
San Jose, CA
May 4, 2017


Thank you Trustee Farar.

In 1857, the young State of California needed educators that would raise up a new generation.

The state needed to lay the groundwork for its society, economy and democracy. The state needed to prove that it could stand on its own, thousands of miles away from the industrial centers of the East Coast and Midwest.

In short, California needed an institution of higher learning… and that institution – founded in 1857 – continues today as San José State University.

Generations of students, faculty and staff have defined what it means to make higher education – indeed, an excellent university experience – public.

And today, the 260,000 living alumni of San José State are contributing to the success of this region, of the Silicon Valley, of the State of California and beyond.

Yet, your legacy as San José State extends further.

The CSU seal includes the same year… 1857… as an acknowledgement that all 23 CSU campuses in existence today are a continuation of your legacy.

You were the first, the trailblazer.

So, in reality, your class of alumni extends to all 3.4 million living CSU alumni.

But your reach extends further. The model of public higher education defined by San José State and the CSU is being applied in other states and other nations.

So in truth, your class of alumni reaches tens if not hundreds of millions. Truly impressive.

Today, we need your leadership again. We need San José State to be the first… the trailblazer.

This is a time of challenge, but also opportunity… not so different from that time 160 years ago when the State of California was setting its path.

Indeed, our society, economy and democracy are at an inflection point. Our universities are at an inflection point.

We need you, San José State, to set the example of how we go forward for future generations.

Your legacy is secure…

Today is about the promise of San Jose State… the promise to California – indeed the promise of California – for the future.

That is the offer the trustees and I extended to President Papazian… an opportunity to be a leader as we move forward together... the voice for a community of millions.

Mary gladly took up this call, this responsibility… and the last year has proven that she – alongside all of you at San José State – will lead the way.

President Papazian and Trustee Farar would you please join me at the podium.

By the authority granted to me by the Trustees of the California State University, I hereby invest you, Mary Papazian, with the Office of President of San José State University, with all the honors, privileges, and most importantly the authority, responsibilities, and accountability pertaining thereto.​​