Chancellor, The California State University CSU Bakersfield 50th Anniversary CelebrationCongratulatory Remarks (as prepared)October 1, 2020
Thank you, President Zelezny and good evening, everyone.
On behalf of the entire California State University and its Board of Trustees, it is my great pleasure to welcome CSU Bakersfield's students, faculty, staff and alumni to this joyous occasion.
I also want to welcome all of the generous donors, the CSUB Foundation Board of Directors, community leaders and friends of the university from across the Central Valley and beyond. Your support has been essential to the half century of success we celebrate tonight and it is reflected in the lives of CSU Bakersfield's students and alumni – lives that have been and will continue to be enriched and transformed by the quality of a CSU Bakersfield degree.
And as we celebrate the life-changing impact this university has had on generations of students, we also applaud the positive and consequential cultural and economic benefits the campus has brought to the Central and Antelope valleys.
Indeed, the relationship between the campus and the community it serves has never been stronger. It's reflected in collaboration between faculty and the region's industry leaders in the development of cutting-edge academic programs – a thriving service learning initiative with local businesses and non-profit organizations – and growing numbers of internships that enhance students' learning and discovery experience as they prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
And it is evident in the record-setting fundraising that will further enhance the university's vitality for years to come.
I want to recognize and thank CSUB faculty and staff – past and present – whose skilled, dedicated and student-focused work has inspired students to new heights of academic achievement while supporting them holistically. And I would be remiss if I didn't specifically express my heartfelt gratitude for the current faculty and staff. Your adaptability and ingenuity have not merely allowed students to maintain their progress to degree through this daunting moment in time – your work has helped them to thrive. The record-setting numbers of degrees earned are a testament to your efforts.
President Zelezny, I also want to thank you for your wise, steady and inclusive leadership – through the current circumstance and through your tenure – that has CSU Bakersfield positioned for ongoing success.
The campus' influence and reputation continue to grow in strength on a regional, statewide and national scale – demonstrated in part by the world-renowned scholars and thought leaders who have shared their experiences and wisdom with the campus community. This evening's Presidential Lecture Series speaker is a particularly stirring example. Like all of you, I am excited to hear Sir Richard Branson's upcoming remarks.
In closing, I want to again express my gratitude and appreciation for everyone viewing tonight who has had a role – large or small – in this institution's remarkable accomplishments over the course of the past 50 years.
Happy 50th, CSU Bakersfield! It is with something close to awe that I consider the university's past and future impact on the Central Valley, the state of California and our nation.