CSUB President's Associates Dinner

Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
CSUB President’s Associates Dinner
Bakersfield, CA
April 28, 2016

Thank you, Horace, for that introduction… and for all that you do for the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Cal State Bakersfield… and indeed, the entire CSU.

I lean on Horace’s wisdom and leadership a lot… at the systemwide level, Horace co-leads our CSU African American Initiative… which is dedicated to increasing the college preparation, enrollment and graduation rates of African American students from underserved communities.

Thank you for your leadership, Horace.

I am absolutely thrilled to be back in Bakersfield tonight… to recognize our student research scholars… and to join with the President’s Associates and friends of Cal State Bakersfield to celebrate our shared passion for community engagement, quality academic opportunities and inclusive excellence.

Fifty-one years ago… 1965… a state college in Bakersfield was established… pushed forward by State Senator Walter Stiern, a local boy… and our current governor’s father, Pat Brown.

And some of us here in this room might even just be experienced enough to remember when California State College, Bakersfield was first established.

I bring up this history not to remind us of how much better shape we all were in five decades ago… but rather to place this university’s mission… its values… and its founding principles… in a greater context.

Cal State Bakersfield — and its 22 sibling campuses across the state — were founded to educate the people of California… to provide opportunities and access to higher education for any qualified Californian willing to do the work… regardless of social and economic status, race, gender, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation…

A revolutionary idea, even today. But certainly never more important, in our complex world, than today and the years ahead.

And this campus… built in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley… has stayed true to the vision and mission that established it 51 years ago.

It is a stubbornly optimistic university in a stubbornly optimistic part of the country.

Cal State Bakersfield has lifted up lives, families and communities… and is a catalyst for innovation, social justice and economic success.

This university has been able to grow and thrive… and set a course of excellence for future generations in Bakersfield, the San Joaquin Valley, and California… because of the incredible support from our champions, alumni, advocates, donors and friends like you.

So, for all that you have done and will do for Cal State Bakersfield and the students of California… thank you.

Your unwavering support sustains opportunities for academic enrichment… enhancing academic programs and strengthening our efforts in everything from STEM education to teacher credentialing to athletics and the arts.

And of course, in student research.

The Student Research Scholars program pushes the boundaries for what is normally seen from student research… combining hands-on research experiences with world-class faculty and staff to create learning opportunities that are unique to the CSU.

Our students gain the valuable skills and expertise needed to excel in their future career paths… while developing real-world, applied research that is finding solutions to our greatest challenges.

I know, having spent much of my life in laboratories and in academia, that the research opportunities our students have at Cal State Bakersfield… and across the CSU… are wholly unique experiences… matched by few others in the country.

I am very proud of this fact.

And because of the incredible support from the President’s Associates, I know that this is a source of pride for you as well.

Due to their incredible talents and the unique research experiences gained at Cal State Bakersfield… these scholars will lead California’s next generation of innovators, artists and discoverers.

They will find answers to our most challenging questions… and they will be consequential in their careers, lives and communities.

And I know that they will look back upon their time at Cal State Bakersfield… and the generosity of a community that helped lift and launch them to a lifetime of success.

Thank you again, and congratulations.