|May 16, 2002
Volume 32 Number 16
|A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico|
FROM THE PRESIDENT'S DESK
Each year, when the end of April and the beginning of May roll around, I am caught up in the incredible excitement and activity that permeate the campus, and I feel such pride in the institution.
During Founders Week, I was impressed and moved by the accomplishments of the students we honored at the university awards reception. For example, Tyler Smith, a communication design student and the graduating senior with the highest grade point average, is not only the strong academic that one would expect, but a seasoned volunteer and multitalented musician and composer.
The Glenn Kendall Public Service Award recipient, Alicia Eller, who is graduating with an interdisciplinary degree in environmental studies and education, impressed the audience with her unbridled idealism and generosity to the cause of the environment and the Butte Creek Ecological Reserves. She is going to Mexico after graduation to help set up an ecological preserve.
The Floyd L. English Natural Sciences Scholarship Reception, where 15 students received awards for as much as $5,000 each, is another example not only of the exceptional quality of many of our students, but also the quality and commitment of our faculty, who often help good students become exceptional ones.
One of those faculty members, Outstanding Professor Art Sanchez, treated the audience to a scholarly presentation with the heart and soul he puts into the students he teaches. The audience was moved by his donation of the $1,000 award, in the names of his mentors, to various organizations that work to make people’s lives better. His deep gratitude to them was expressed in a tangible and moving way.
As part of Founders Week, we honored seven distinguished alumni, one from each college, as we have done for nine years. What a treat it is for me to emcee such a wonderful event. The stories from this diverse group—educators, scientists, business people, and an actress—of their years at CSU, Chico are amusing and heartwarming. The value they continue to place on the education and preparation they received here is a tremendous tribute to the faculty and staff who taught and nurtured them as students.
At the Staff Awards Luncheon, Nan Timmons, the Outstanding Staff Employee of the Year, graciously acknowledged how lucky she is to work at CSU, Chico. I think she speaks for many of us. She is typical of the deep commitment—not just to a program, but to people—that characterizes employees of this university.
Although not part of our Founders Week, two accreditation visits coincided with these events. In both instances, faculty and students received exceptionally high marks. A commissioner from the Master’s of Social Work accreditation board told us in the exit interview that our faculty were doing an incredible job of developing a model program. He is a dean of one of the largest social work schools in Florida and has visited and evaluated more than 100 schools of social work. He said that he has never seen better students in his more than 25 years as a professional.
A few days earlier, a manufacturing technology program accreditation team for the from the National Association of Industrial Technology met with me for an exit interview. They praised the faculty and the excellent use of limited facilities and resources. They were particularly impressed with the manufacturing technology program’s outstanding enterprise activities in which components, such as frisbees, medical and industrial laser parts, aircraft parts, and loom parts, are manufactured by students for local companies. They said that we should never change this incredibly effective teaching tool. The members of the team had spoken to graduates of the program, and all, without exception, raved about their preparation.
On May 4, we held the annual brunch for faculty and staff retiring in the past year. It was a very different experience for me from when I first arrived nine years ago. We honored people I’ve come to know well. I realize what an impact they’ve had on this university, and so my gratitude for their service and my well wishes run deep.
Founders Week is over, but what is not over for me and for all of those who attended these many celebrations is the realization that we, as an institution, collectively and individually, have a tremendous and lasting positive influence on countless people—and not just students. I honor you who have been recognized these last couple of weeks—students, staff, faculty, and alumni—for your successes, for your ongoing commitment, and for having made us proud to be part of this community we call CSU, Chico.
Manuel A. Esteban
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