Connected Through Pride
By Paul J. Zingg, President
When is a building more than a building? When is research more than an expression of the interests of those doing the research? When is the civic engagement of our students more than a reflection of their personal commitments to community service? When are the achievements of our alums more than nice stories about success beyond their school days?
As I read the articles in this issue of Chico Statements, as varied as those in any previous issue, I was struck by questions of how they connect, what collective story they tell. For, no doubt, these are stories of accomplishment and endeavor worthy of attention and celebration. But together are they something more?
The answer was found in two recent campus events. The first was a small ceremony that recognized those students who had participated in a national test designed to measure how learning improved from freshman to senior year. Our students performed in the 99th percentile among the nearly 200 colleges and universities nationwide taking this test. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
The next day I attended the annual Athletic Hall of Fame induction dinner. This lovely event honors student-athletes who achieved great distinction during their undergraduate athletic careers at Chico State. I was struck not only by their stories, but also the importance of remembering their accomplishments as a community. Remembrance is both a private and communal exercise, and at this event, it reminded us of the joys of connection when we witness something, or someone, extraordinary.
The clear message I found in both of these events focused on expectations, namely, the high expectations that achievements create for what is yet to come. Whether the accomplishments are academic or athletic, the message is the same: High performance is the product of high expectations. We expect our students to succeed; we expect our faculty to excel; we expect our University to lead because the bar has been raised by our predecessors and we accept the challenge to raise it higher.
So, when is a building, like our new Student Services Center, more than a building? When it raises expectations for what happens in that building.
When is research more than an expression of the interests of those doing it? When it raises awareness of what our faculty and students are accomplishing and how they are contributing to the body of knowledge and its applications.
When is civic engagement more than a personal statement? When it defines the character of the university that fosters it.
When are achievements of our alums more than interesting individual stories? When they build pride in their alma mater and motivate others to follow in their footsteps.
I hope you will appreciate, throughout this issue, an institutional record of high achievement and inspiration. These stories celebrate a vital university whose best days lie ahead.
See what sets Chico State apart.
The President’s Report is a new online publication that highlights Chico State’s achievements and distinctiveness. It focuses on the people and programs that make Chico State one of the outstanding public universities in the West.
Go to www.csuchico.edu/presidentsreport to read how Chico’s faculty, staff, students, and community partners have made uncommon efforts to strengthen and advance the University.