Watching Futures Unfold
From the President's Desk
Watching Futures Unfold
by Paul J. Zingg
As the spring 2012 semester got under way, I focused my spring convocation remarks on our 125th anniversary. This issue of Chico Statements draws from that address with an emphasis on the impressive continuities between the different eras of our history. Among the most important are the extraordinary sense of place that defines Chico State and the great accomplishments of our students and alumni in the service of our region and our world.
This issue turns to the voices of our future to accent the richness of our history. For set within the context of our anniversary celebration are the testimonials of nine alumni who have graduated in the new millennium. They underscore three keys to building a great institutional story.
First, they reflect our strengths. And no strength is more important at Chico State than our focus on student success. Yes, distinction, even uniqueness, characterizes many of our academic programs. But more important than national reputation is the commitment to student success that marks all of our programs and all of our efforts. This commitment exists in the classroom and extends well beyond it. So listen carefully to these alumni voices. They testify to the spirit that guides our entire university.
Second, they demonstrate why we must seek ways to tell our story, indeed, to brag a bit. I’ve often heard it said that Chico State is a “hidden gem” or a “best-kept secret.” Well, there’s nothing wrong with publicizing success if it is genuine and stands the test of time. That’s the attraction of these young alumni. They don’t have to be famous in order to be effective spokespersons for our university. Yes, they may become famous. But, right now, all they have to be is authentic in their affection for their alma mater and honest in its praise. So, listen carefully to these alumni voices. There is eloquence and affirmation in their stories.
Third, they provide the strongest kind of evidence that our aim is not just to enable our graduates to make a good living, but also to equip them to lead a good life. For more than filling the critical workforce ranks of our region and state, our alumni are improving the quality of life where they live and work. And they are doing so because their Chico Experience included a balance between the academic and the social, between the University and the community, between solving local problems and understanding global issues. So, again, listen to these alumni voices. There is passion and agreement between the values they profess and the values they enact.
Let us praise the people and the spirit of our past. But ever mindful that past is prologue, let us build on our laurels, not rest on them. The next chapters of our grand narrative are being written right now by alumni such as those featured in this issue. I can’t wait to see how their futures unfold and how they will strengthen the story of Chico State, 125 years young in 2012.
—Paul J. Zingg, President
CONCANNON (BS, Business Administration, ’85) is a fourth-generation vintner at Concannon Vineyard.
(BS, Business Administration, ’94) is the human resources manager for the News & Review, headquartered in Sacramento.
(BS, Business Administration, ’87) is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Epicor Software Corporation.