Feria de Educación

Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
Feria de Educación
Sacramento, CA
August 23, 2014

Thank you, President Gonzalez and good morning.

It is a pleasure to back in Sacramento again and on the campus of Sacramento State. And to see the face of many faculty, staff, students and future students of this great university.

My thanks to Steve Stuck and the entire Univision team for partnering with the California State University on this event. It means a lot that they’ve put this together.

I also appreciate the support and presence of Assemblymember Roger Dickinson. The Assembly has been particularly of the California State University in general and Sacramento State in particular. Roger, thank you and your colleagues for that. We’ll keep working on the others.

Consul General Carlos González Gutiérrez is here as well. The consul general has been a very large supporter of Sacramento State and the CSU – all of our campuses. So, Carlos, thank you for being here today and for all your support over the years.

Each student here today, or who is contemplating being a student, stands at the beginning of an incredible journey – one that so many of us have had the privilege and opportunity to take. And when you take that journey, you don’t take it alone.

Let me share the story of one person and his family – which I think you can generalize from and that epitomizes what this really is.

Born in a small pueblo in Mexico, Eric Guerraand his family came to California as migrant farm workers. His parents picked peaches, oranges and tomatoes. They taught Eric the value of hard work, and insisted he study hard to complete his education. And guess what? He did that.

Eric followed his parents’ advice and came to Sacramento State. He became an advocate for his peers. He served as Associated Students president on this campus. And he became the student member on the CSU Board of Trustees – a terrific honor.

He graduated with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He earned a Senate Fellowship after completing his bachelor’s and today he is chief of staff for a member of the California State Assembly.

We are so proud of him and his family, but also put him on a pedestal to say that this is the sort of story that can be repeated by each and all of you. The facts may change, but the basic story and journey is what this is all about.

Every year, President Gonzalez asks graduates who are the first in their families to earn a degree. It is a powerful moment when you see half of the graduates raising their hands, in between the laughter and tears of joy that come from graduating.

When these new graduates stand up, they are standing not only for themselves but for their family. They are standing up for their community. And they are standing up for the American Dream. And they are standing up for California’s future.

It is very important to recognize how important it is to have that credential and the skills that come with it.

I am eager to see every student here at a Cal State graduate. That is why we partner with so many people. I mentioned Univision, and also PIQE – The Parent Institute for Quality Education. It is a great effort, and many of you are involved in that program. And I can tell you how important it is.

Familia matters. The family has to understand what it takes to be in school and stay in school – so the opportunity to go to college exists for our youth.

Let me finish by saying thank you, buenos dias and ¡Adelante!