Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White – October 6, 2020
Chancellor, The California State University
HACU Hall of Champions Induction
Acceptance Remarks (as delivered)
October 6, 2020
I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Antonio Flores and everyone at HACU for this prestigious and humbling honor. I would also like to thank Dr. Joseph I. Castro for nominating me for induction into the HACU Hall of Champions. As many of you may know, just last month Dr. Castro was named as my successor – the eighth Chancellor of the California State University. I am certain that, under his leadership, the CSU will reach even greater heights.
I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize HACU’s leaders and membership for their worthy mission – to champion Hispanic success in higher education. It is a mission that I – and the CSU – share. And I am proud to say that the CSU’s positive impact on the Hispanic community – in California and across the nation – is truly remarkable.
Hispanic students comprise almost half of the CSU’s student body, and for the academic year 2018-2019, the university awarded more than 41,000 bachelor’s degrees to Hispanic students. In fact, 62% of the total number of bachelor’s degrees earned by Hispanics in California are CSU degrees – 64% of the state’s engineering degrees earned by Hispanic students, 66% of the business degrees and 53% of those in nursing and life sciences.
But while the CSU is an extraordinarily powerful driver of socioeconomic ascent for Hispanic students, with an impact that can’t be overstated, it is really the university that owes a debt of gratitude to the Hispanic community.
Hispanic students are among our brightest and most engaged – they are student leaders at all levels of our university, and they are active in volunteerism, serving the communities in which our campuses are embedded. Beyond that, members of the Hispanic community are some of our most involved and generous alumni, and they are gifted faculty and dedicated staff. And as Dr. Castro and his colleagues so capably demonstrate – they are visionary leaders at the campus and system level.
Of course, much work remains to be done – to improve access, to ensure educational equity, to promote STEM education and to permanently eradicate opportunity gaps. But we’ll get there – we won’t rest until we do.
In closing, I want to reiterate how humbled and profoundly honored I am to be inducted into the HACU Hall of Champions. The dream that you work so tirelessly to make a reality for so many – that was my dream – my story. An immigrant kid from Argentina and from a frugal-by-necessity household. First in my family to go to college. Finding my way – and eventually myself – through public education, thanks to hard work and some good fortune. And thanks to people like you who believed in and supported me.
It’s a story that ultimately led me here – reflecting on a life and career that have exceeded my wildest expectations – and on one of my life’s great honors.
Thank you again for that honor – and for everything you do to help future generations write their own remarkable stories.