Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White April 11, 2019

Remarks by Timothy P. White
Chancellor, The California State University
President Adela de la Torre Investiture
San Diego State University
April 11, 2019

Good afternoon.

It's great to be back on the campus of San Diego State University…and in this fantastic venue…home to so many Aztec basketball triumphs and, of course, “The Show" – one of America's most…I guess I'll use the word “enthusiastic"…student support sections.

Today, we celebrate the investiture of President Adela de la Torre.

It's somewhat ironic that I refer to her by her title. It's one she rarely uses herself. She prefers Adela.

This is more than a reflection of her humility – this is intentional. Adela does not want a title to create a barrier…to prevent anyone – student, faculty member, community leader – from stopping her on campus or knocking on her door with an idea, a suggestion…or simply to share their story.

It's her leadership style and one of her many great gifts: listening to others' stories, having authentic conversations and then developing and working collaboratively toward a shared vision.

Adela. It's the name she shared with her grandmother, who once took her as a young girl to the campus of UC Berkeley, telling her “this is where you're going to study." (Her grandmother may have undersold this point a bit, considering Adela went on to earn her bachelor's, master's and doctorate from that institution.)

The name now spans three generations. Adela gave the name to her oldest daughter, born the year that her grandmother, the original namesake, passed away.

Family. Community. Purpose. Encouragement. An appreciation of the past and a clear vision for a bright future. It's all in Adela de la Torre's DNA and it will inform her leadership of this great university, as it has since her appointment last year.

A great university indeed.

San Diego State is one of the nation's most diverse institutions and a leader in closing equity gaps for underrepresented students. Research and innovation – and the highly skilled workforce – developed here have helped make San Diego one of the nation's thriving centers for telecommunications, biotechnology and defense. The institution has long enjoyed the support of its local community – from the 1928 vote authorizing the campus here on the Mesa to the recent approval of the truly visionary Mission Valley expansion.

These are just a few examples of what is remarkable… undeniable…momentum. I can think of no leader better suited to build upon this momentum than Adela de la Torre. Her intelligence, her compassion, her willingness to listen and her unique ability to inspire a shared vision for a brighter future for all who comprise this diverse campus community make Adela the right leader at the right time for San Diego State University.

And now, my favorite part of the ceremony. Adela, I hope you will forgive me for using your title.

It is my honor to invite to the podium President Adela de la Torre.

By the authority granted to me by the Trustees of the California State University, I hereby invest you, Adela de la Torre, with the Office of President of San Diego State University, with all the honors, privileges, and most importantly the authority, responsibilities, and accountability pertaining thereto.