Investiture of President Leslie E. Wong



you Thank You Alexander string quartet and you guys look wonderful it is now my honor to introduce the chair of the California State University Board of Trustees Robert linscheid the presiding officer for today's event good afternoon is this mic on good afternoon that's good boy it is right colorful tonight I was talking to some of my colleagues we're going to go downtown tonight make reservations for for dinner I think this is a good way to do this but good afternoon and welcome to everyone to the investiture ceremony at San Francisco State University's 13th president Leslie yi wang i bring greetings on behalf of the california state university board of trustees and i'm pleased to join you today's celebration to open today's ceremony is my pleasure to introduce Miss Christina Leo Santos I'm sorry and SF State alum in biochemistry who will sing our National Anthem Christina whole thing can you see land was so great at the twilight's last gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming and the Rockets red glare the bombs bursting the sting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there who say does that star-spangled then babe and order and of the free and the home right you may be seated thank you ms Leo Santos that was a beautiful rendition now to help us reflect on the spirit of our gathering today I'm honored to introduce father Steven privett president of the University of San Francisco who will deliver the invocation father / vet so let us pray o God except ourselves we have no other prayer truth is among your most generous gifts to us this calling to be unique and uniquely yours and we know from stipple on trout 70 shades of green more than a hundred periodic elements birds and beasts innumerable you love best what is varied different and ineffably itself so one task of learning like Monet we must set up 14 easels to trace what Sun and rain due to the color and contour of a cathedral like Mendel or creek or mcCormick we must train our eyes on common things peas or corn to see what is shared the pattern invisible the Providence beneath like O'Keeffe we must study a garden of blue petunias to paint the night sky like every writer ever born we must imagine what it is like to be another there are many moments of sacred let these years of learning be among them from this blossoming labor let us know both resolution and resolve use all our ordinary efforts to find the just way the open heart our truest self and you we are grateful that you have sent les Wong to join our community we ask your blessings on his time of leadership may it be fruitful for the university community satisfying and sustaining for him we pray that San Francisco State will always be a sacred space of learning lit by your wisdom your mercy and your grace we ask these blessings a word in whom are wordiness dissolves grateful that we have no prayer except ourselves thank you Father privett on this historic occasion I would like to begin by recognizing some of our distinguished guests when my fellow members of the California State University Board of Trustees please rise when I call your name and I asked the audience to please hold your applause until I've read all their names trustee Roberta acton Berg trustee kin-fung trust a lupe Garcia and Trust a Lawrence Norton thank you each for joining us today what representatives of the chancellor's office of the California State University who are seated on the stage today please rise when I call your name and once again the audience please hold your applause until all have been recognized Chancellor Timothy white general counsel Christine hoek executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer Ben quillian special recognition also Chancellor white this is his his first investiture of many more to come we want to offer a special greetings to you now what all the university presidents seated on stage please rise after I call your name and I'm sure the audience will hold their applause until I finish Ruben are manana president of Sonoma State University Admiral Thomas cropper president of the California maritime academy Alexandra Gonzalez president of Sacramento State University Tomas Morales president of California State University San Bernardino Leroy barista president California State University East Bay Eduardo achaia president California State University Monterey Bay Michael Ortiz California State Polytechnic University Pomona Mohammad KO me president san jose state university joseph schiele president california state university stanislaw John Welty president Fresno State University Judith Greg president of notre-dame de Mer University Dorothy Leland Chancellor of the University of California Merced father Stephen privett president of the University of San Francisco and of course a familiar face to all of you Robert Corrigan president emeritus San Francisco State University now with the members of President Wong's cabinet who are seated on stage please rise when I call your name sue Rosser provost and vice president of academic affairs Nancy Hayes vice president of administration and finance and chief financial officer robert Nava vice president of University Advancement Joe Joe belcourt interim vice president student affairs in role management patricia barcher university counsel and chief of staff thank you all for being here today now with the deans of the San Francisco States six colleges please rise when I call your name Linda Aubrey dean for the College of Business Betsy keen interim dean of the graduate college of education ken Montero dean for the College of ethnic studies Don Taylor Dean of the College of Health and Social Sciences Paul Sherwin Dean of the College of Liberal and creative arts and Sheldon Axler Dean for the College of Science and Engineering thank you all for being additional people at the platform party I'd like to introduce now identity Hamilton president of Associated Students incorporated San Francisco State University douglas-roberts director of Institute for Public Policy and social research at Michigan State University John gumus chair of the San Francisco State Foundation Board Leona bridges a 2012 inductee into the San Francisco State Alumni Hall of Fame and the Honorable Willie Brown former mayor of the city of San Francisco and San Francisco States 1981 alumnus of the year I know I should have done the mayor last because I wasn't finished alejandro more J Loret poet laureate of San Francisco State and professor of Latino Studies Lorna Chang Hill San Francisco State supervisor for undergraduate admissions and Lawrence Hanley Academic Senate chair associate professor of English now let's congratulate them all and on behalf of President Wong thanks to the students faculty staff alumni and special guests who have made time today to be part of today's celebration in honor of President Wong we will recognize a number of individuals who will provide official greetings on this historic occasion but before I turn over the microphone let me offer special greetings on behalf of the California State University Board of Trustees now some of you know that my wife and I recently located relocated to San Francisco very quickly we become welcome to the world-class city of San Francisco and consider San Francisco State to be our home campus we trustees are ever so proud to have less long as our leader here at San Francisco State lesson Phyllis Wong are the greatest gift we could have given to this campus in this community please as a community embrace their leadership and support their initiatives I know all too well they are student centered and I on behalf of my colleagues on the board of trustees of the California State University wish to welcome them to San Francisco it is now my pleasure to recognize Leroy barista president of California State University East Bay who will provide greetings on behalf of the california state university presidents they write good afternoon everyone I am pleased to have the honor representing my colleagues the presidents of the other 21 campuses of the California State University in officially extending greetings and welcoming Leslie Wong to the CSU system as president of San Francisco State University the job of a CSU president demands awareness of and responsiveness to the needs of students faculty staff and the community all within the context of a public university in service for the public good president Wong's vision and aspirations align well to the traditions of San Francisco state's commitment to social justice equity diversity and focus on student success he brings to the campus a strong history of successfully leading a public university he has earned the trust and respect of students faculty staff and alumni by establishing successful partnerships with community leaders and advocating effectively in regional and state legislation I have had the privilege to know president Wong for over 20 years he is a man of integrity and honor and a leader who keeps his commitments and respects his colleagues his focus is on students and the importance that a university education provides and making a meaningful difference in their lives for their families and communities and for the world at large throughout his career president Wong has successfully led insightful and ambitious initiatives his leadership has been characterized by student centeredness candor transparency and energy knowing less and having had the privilege to work at this great University for most of my professional life I was pleased to have the opportunity to encourage him to seek this presidency and I actively advocated for his candidacy the university has acquired an exceptional leader I know his expertise and vision will greatly benefit San Francisco State the region the California State University system and beyond president Wong and mrs. Wong on behalf of your presidential colleagues we extend our heartfelt congratulations on this auspicious occasion as we look forward with anticipation to the unfolding of your vision and aspirations during your tenure as president of San Francisco State University thank you and welcome president Wong Thank You president Morita on behalf of the Faculty of San Francisco State University I'm pleased to recognize dr. Lawrence Hanley chair of the Academic Senate greetings greetings everybody on behalf of the Academic Senate of San Francisco State University I welcome president les Wong to the dynamic exciting innovative rigorous robust and rambunctious academic community that is San Francisco State University at the heart of every great academic achievement individual and collective is one key value collaboration collaboration among colleagues collaboration across the campus collaboration between past and present collaboration between classroom and cutting-edge knowledge and between intra and extra mural communities already president Wong has demonstrated a keen and formidable gift for cultivating these powers of collaboration even as we extend this most genial welcome we the faculty staff and students of San Francisco State University henceforth known as Gators hmm look forward with confidence and optimism to his leadership of this great institution and now in my Jesuit trained Latin forgive me please solve a president Leslie Wong add nostros comunità tous des lectus welcome president Wong to our beloved community thank you Thank You chair Hanley on behalf of the staff at San Francisco State I am pleased to recognize miss Lorna Chang Hill supervisor of undergraduate admissions good afternoon president Wong Chancellor white trustees colleagues and friends my name is Lorna hill and I'm honored to be here on the significant occasion and bring greetings to you on behalf of the 2,000 staff members from our campus dr. Wong our staff extends a warm welcome to you and to mrs. Wong last spring I had the privilege of serving on the presidential search Advisory Committee to select our new president we were ecstatic when dr. when we learned that dr. Wong accepted this challenging job after reviewing 60 resumes from outstanding academics from across the nation you would be hard-pressed to find a committee to form a consensus on any one candidate but we all agreed that dr. Wong was not only the best qualified but that his character and demeanor would be the best fit for our campus and for our students during your initial seven months on campus we have appreciated the manner in which you have reached out to our staff and demonstrated your interest your support and appreciation of our roles we have great trust and confidence in you dr. Wong and on behalf of our staff we welcome you warmly as our 13th president we look forward to working with you to support and fulfill your vision for our campus thank thank you ms cheang hill on behalf of the students miss a dinner k hamilton president of the Associated Students incorporated of San Francisco State University identify good afternoon I am honored to be here today to commemorate the investiture of President Wong president Wong Chancellor white faculty staff students and distinguished guests this afternoon I bring greetings to you on behalf of our universities 30,000 students our campus is undergoing a major transition in terms of student population our campus is comprised of a diverse and energetic student population and our undergraduate population is also reflective of California's population and it's interesting to note that almost half of our freshman class comes from Southern California more students from outside the bay area are selecting SF State because of its quality academic programs and the opportunity to live and learn in one of the great cities of the world I myself in one of those students our campus is also going through a physical transition with many new projects underway that will further cement San Francisco's place as a leader in higher education and it's amazing to have president Wong leading that charge president Wong brings with him a fresh perspective ideas and the sort of out-of-the-box thinking our campus needs he's plugged in to all aspects of our campus and is the right person at the right place and the right time to further elevate SF State President Wong we the students also love that you're so visible on campus we see you in the Cesar Chavez student center at Citi eats stopping by our student organization offices athletic events serving as the head spirit leader motivating athletic teams and yes even stopping by noise complaint our campus dances our students are so fortunate to have an engaged leader like president Wong who from the first day here has made it a point to reach out to students and to get to know the people that the university is here to serve president Wong on behalf of the students we are ready to work with you and making s of state a greater University we are proud to welcome dr. Wong as the 13th president of San Francisco State University thank you thank you at dainik a I'm certain those Southern California students who identified or all giant fans on behalf of the San Francisco State University Foundation and chair of the Foundation Board is San Francisco businessman John gumus John thank you Bob and if any of you wondering these are very warm good afternoon everyone my name is John gumus and it's a real pleasure for me to be here as an alumnus of this great institution as well as the chair of the San Francisco State University Foundation Board of Directors and it's a pleasure to be part of this invention investiture for 13th president dr. les Wong shortly after dr. Wong's appointment last spring he reached out to our Foundation Board he expressed how excited he was to be part of san francisco state and how much he looked forward to working with us on the board and i can tell you that President Wong is a man of his word because he's been an active member of our board ever since and we're very appreciative of that his energy and his vision of the board his passion for increasing our fundraising capability as well as building the university's endowment have reenergized all of us it's also clear to us that dr. Wong Wong appreciates and values are input and advice he is clearly committed to our students our faculty and our staff and he's equally committed to building and expanding relationships with our elected officials our school districts our community members and our business and civic leaders fact we saw a great example of this recently his leadership in the community with his engagement of proposition 30 so we thank dr. Wong for that let me add that the Foundation Board is also energized about mrs. Wong her passion for the students and university is absolutely contagious and I see you right there and it's because your smile and that smile is what brightens our day every day so we thank you as well we are extremely fortunate to have such a dynamic couple leading our university president Wong the directors of the San Francisco State Foundation Board want to know how much we appreciate the impact you've had on all of us and our university in just seven very short months our future looks awfully bright with you at the helm so on behalf of the San Francisco State Foundation Board of Directors many of whom are here today we wish you a heartfelt congratulations on this special day and we look forward to your leadership and working with you to take our university to the next level thank you so much thank you very much John and thank you for your work on behalf of the University on behalf of San Francisco States more than 200,000 alumni ms Leona bridges a member of the San Francisco State Alumni Hall of Fame will speak now Leona good afternoon president Wong Chancellor white alumni and distinguished guests as a proud alumna I am honored to be with you this afternoon and to celebrate your investiture let me also share with the audience that I had the privilege and the honor of serving on the Presidential Search Committee and let me say the committee chaired by trustee acton Berg made an excellent choice in selecting dr. Wong this afternoon I bring greetings on behalf of over 200,000 alumni we have San Francisco State University Alumni all over the state of California the United States and internationally in fact dr. Wong I bring you special greetings on behalf of a 600 600 alumni and Taiwan they are still talking about your wonderful visit to Taipei last fall on behalf of the Alumni we want to acknowledge and thank the you think our alma mater for the best education that we could receive thank you for the education that have blessed us today and always the faculty and staff of this university has nurtured us and shaped us into the leaders we are today San Francisco State University's commitment to quality education coupled with the commitment to social justice has provided our students and many of whom are first-generation college students with the best education in the class of this university and many universities across this country we make our community in our nation very proud of us as graduates of San Francisco State we have given much we have been given much by this university and the faculty and we have the responsibility to give back to our alma mater and we want to help and mentor the current students and the future alumni of this university our alumni we are so admit we are so excited with your appointment and we stand ready to we stand ready to serve and we're committed to you and the future of this university we're ready to assist you in connecting and reconnecting with the Alumni both locally and globally president long we wish you a long and productive presidency and we are pleased to receive you mrs. Wong and your family we wish you blessings and good speed thank you and go Gators thanks Leona now on behalf of one of the world's finest cities the Honorable Willie Brown former mayor of San Francisco sponsor of San Francisco States Willie l brown jr. Leadership Institute and a member of the San Francisco States Alumni Hall of Fame Mayor Brown Thank You mr. president Chancellor white all these other presidents that are up here these are the Chancellor's that are up here but this marvelous collection of students who have come to participate and listen and enjoy and share with you this extraordinary moment and i am one such student yes I speak on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco because our mayor is on his way to become an Irishman in Cork for the weekend and then after that he's going to become a Frenchman in Paris and then back to Chinatown for Chinese but in the meantime is authorized me since San Francisco State extended the opportunity to me in 1951 I was an immigrant from mineola Texas I came out here graduated from Neil color high school mr. president and I was going to stand for it for purposes of becoming a math professor I went down to Stanford before they told me the price they looked at my resume and said you're in the wrong place no way you're going to be able to enter Stanford and it was a moonlighting counselor from San Francisco State University Duncan gillies who said it and they're right but I know where they'll take you San Francisco State the old campus over on demon and became a member almost instantly of this marvelous family and I have remained a member of this marvelous family and I got the opportunity when Robert corian was the president I served as both speaker and mayor to really interact with San Francisco State and do what Leona says and that's a give back and I'm telling you Leslie that I am going to be in jerry Brown's face full time on behalf of this university as as this great University so richly deserves the City and County of San Francisco is indeed blessed there are five or six major educational institutions that has more than 200,000 students and employees as part of that operation in this city and believe me that's a quarter of the entire population of the city in san francisco state with its huge student body with its activists campus with its diversity and with the kind of leadership that it regularly provides and interacting with the city as an educational institution you are in charge of something that's extraordinary and as I said to Steve privat earlier if they'd go on for days one of the two you may have been Pope congratulations now we're all eager to read his column on Sunday aren't we check and see if your name is in there I'm sure Thank You mr. mayor now that concludes the official greetings and now it's my honor to invite professor alejandro more ghia poet laureate of san francisco to the podium to present today's reading thank you very much with muchas gracias I want to take the opportunity today to welcome president Wong and Phyllis wang to San Francisco the city of poets we are truly fortunate to gather today when so much of the world is wracked with violence intolerance prejudice hate hopelessness poetry is also prophecy and is it is the duty of the poet the prophecies invoke conjure a better world the word in Spanish for hope is espera Ansah I am very humbled to offer a poem for you today titled it's been an sas to have many hopes now if I can just pull the poem out the last time I tried this I pulled up parking ticket Esperanza's for pacha mama and her oceans and rivers and her forest who will speak for the Salman for the soldier and the soldiers widow for the one in jail and for the one that waits for the one in jail for the lovers kept apart by laws and prejudices but a las mujeres that what is for the women of Gaza for the women of Rhonda for the village of Fukushima for those persecuted and tortured because they spoke up for the refugee wrapped in barbed wire for each and every human being who sleeps in a street or park or hovel for the sleepless student drowning in debt for the family of that student drowning in debt for the child with nostalgia to be born for every child to get home safe for the elderly alone for the permanent end of hate disease and poverty for a more just world still to come where no one goes hungry and the water is clean prisons are outlawed and schools are free and exciting and poetry mandatory for police and politicians for the Coon sue and our Indians of the Amazon and the Jaguar faced with extinction for the last battle to stop and every last gun forged into a pen for the most desperate most hopeless in this world those without even dreams to get by we embrace you today and surround you in a rainbow of hope Oh justice Thank You professor more ghia presenting today's keynote address is dr. Douglas Roberts dr. Roberts is a professor and director of Michigan State University's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research an organization that works as a bridge between the Michigan State University campus and the community building relationships between the academic community and public policy makers dr. Roberts has a distinguished career in public service spanning nearly three decades including appointments to the administration of five governors that would be unique in California now women he has served the state of Michigan in a number of capacities including director of the state Senate fiscal agency deputy director of the State Department of Management and Budget acting director of the Department of Management and Budget did deputy superintendent of Department of Education and ten years as Misha's Michigan State direct treasure sorry he also served as a member of the board of trustees at Northern Michigan University where he first met les Wong please welcome dr. Douglas Roberts for his address mr. chairman thank you very much for very kind and gracious introduction good afternoon no that's not strong enough it is a magnificent afternoon some of my remarks today you will have already heard because we're talking about the same people but I do have a prepared text and it i would like to present it to you at this time distinguished members of the San Francisco State University family trustees community government and business leaders faculty staff alumni and students it is my privilege and my honor to be invited to make a few remarks at the investiture of less long as your new president I was a member of the Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees when we selected less to become northerns president less and I worked together for seven years and it didn't take long for us to become close friends I hope that you can appreciate what a special moment it is for me to be here today to share a very special moment with President Wong and his family as we gather to formally mark the beginning of President Wong's tenure here at San Francisco State I want to tell you about the kind of man les Wong is and how he will be a dynamic and constructive influence at your great University but before I tell you about my friend les I want to make something very clear it is not my intent to give him a letter of recommendation I mean you've already hired him but it is my intent to state without reservation that you have selected wisely president Wong grew up in the rough-and-tumble world of East Oakland not my words his as he grew up he discovered that he had two significant attributes he could hit a baseball and he was a good reader lucky for us he chose the latter and leading the way to his future career in higher education and what a career it has been he has served universities in North Dakota Colorado Washington State and of course Michigan he is a man that believes the campus and community support each other and that he is destined to serve both he is relentless in the pursuit of access of inclusion and of the opportunity for all people in the world pursue higher education he is not a man to sit high above in an ivory tower at Northern he regularly spent evenings and late nights with students just to talk and listen of course there was almost always a five gallon container of chocolate ice cream involved he also has a very big heart let me quote from one of his own speeches to the students at northern Michigan learn and prepare yourself to act on behalf of others before you act on behalf of yourself and later in the same speech he said believe in the power of kindness these words reflect a man with remarkable character president Wong is truly a remarkable man he does have a secret however and some of you may already know about his secret and I'm sure you do and I can state his secret in one word Phyllis his wife she is charming delightful and self-sacrificing she epitomizes what one woman can do on her own time unselfishly working to assist and honors students and their quest for a meaningful education as you will discover if you have not already less and Phyllis are a remarkable team today's ceremony marks beginning of a new chapter in the story of San Francisco State University it is also intended to ignore acknowledge and congratulate the man who will open new paths transform lives and leave the university through this new chapter mr. president you have my most heartfelt congratulations I am very proud of you the university community of self have shown great pride by coming together to celebrate an entire presidential investiture week this is a week of service performance and scholarship and fun this is very much in keeping with the spirit and character of your new president's commitment to campus and community now I'd like to lighten up just a little and have a little fun myself let's start by comparing president Wong's former home and Northern Michigan University where there's no home here in San Francisco State the two cities are very different Northern Michigan University is located in Marquette Michigan and market is located in what we in Michigan called the u.p the Upper Peninsula the city is on the banks of Lake Superior not exactly the Pacific Ocean but a great lake nonetheless Marquette has a population of about 20,000 people San Francisco about 800,000 people I don't think Marquette had eight hundred thousand different residents in its entire history on the other hand Marquette average is about 13 feet of snow per year let me emphasize 13 feet of snow per year snowfall in San Francisco not so much the last time San Francisco's financial district recorded even an inch of snow was in nineteen thirty two very different cities but the schools have more in common than meets the eye both schools were founded in 1899 the best research available tells us that all students in the first graduating class at both schools were women both schools have had five name changes over the years for to the five names were almost identical let me drive that point home the school's boast started as quote normal state schools San Francisco State Normal School northern Michigan normal school both schools became state teachers colleges and then state colleges and finally both our state universities but there's even some more interesting parallels president long left Northern Michigan University last summer during northerns 113 thuro of operation president Wong arrived here last summer during the 113th year of operation of San Francisco State President Wong left northern Michigan as his 13th cousin and you know he arrived here as its 13th president what does all this research tell us I believe it tells us two things first it tells us a president Wong belongs here it is as if it were written in the stars and second it tells us that if it is not already true president Long's favorite number should be 13 now getting back I know firsthand that lesson Phyllis are both professionally and personally excited to be here professionally it is the opportunity of a lifetime San Francisco State has three times the number of students as its last post and it is located in the city of great culture and great beauty the move from northern to San Francisco represents change and change as clearly will be faced in the world today and we are changing at what sometimes seems to be light speed as a teenager Star Trek was one of my favorite TV shows captain james t kirk would reach into his pocket flip open his communicator and make history with the phrase Scotty beam me up dr. McCoy would waive his tricorder over a patient for an instant diagnosis it was called a tricorder granted we are not yet beaming people around but we all have cell phones and mr Ives can diagnose was a simple scan when I entered college in the fall of 1965 I used a slide rule to help with calculations in my second term I used a handheld calculator from a slide rule to a handheld calculator to cell phone smartphones I phones tablets and now the blackberry 10 that is our world today I know many of you have similar histories and can understand that change is now the new normal we are living in a time of both collaboration and conflict a time of both great challenges and great joy we are living in a time of transition from a time when we believed many things to be impossible to a time when we questioned whether anything is impossible most of all we are living in a time when we can identify society's needs and problems and celebrate our ability to solve those problems the question for this group is what is the role of the university community in providing leadership in working through these problems I have seen the university from different points of view I've seen it as a student as a state official a trustee and now as a professor each point of view contributed to an enhanced appreciation of the enormous responsibility that the university community has in influencing our society and the world we live in and while we constantly strive for social economic and world solutions the same basic questions remain what should be taught who should teach it who should it be taught to and who should pay for it the answers will have a major impact on our economic growth our social justice our public health the solutions will reach to the very core of our society and the day's world students will need to learn much more than basic skills they will need to learn to be resourceful they will learn to be adaptable and they will learn to be compassionate to those who will lead our universities fall awesome responsibilities leaders tend to provide the inspiration that drives everyone to learn more our nation's six President John Quincy Adams is said to have given us these enduring words and the qualities of leadership if your actions inspire others to dream more learn more do more and become more you are a leader universities will need the very best leadership possible les Wong is one of those leaders my final comments are directed to my dear friend mr. president you have the tools at your disposal to make a difference you have great instincts you have wonderful judgment you have a keen intellect and you have extraordinary compassion take these tools mr. president and lead San Francisco State University to a magnificent new chapter promoting a safer and more just society for all thank you and congratulations mr. president the athletic department just ran out of here real quick to look for that number 13 Jersey Hampshire thank you dr. Roberts now I have the pleasure of recognizing professors Zacharias Rafi Leo and Fred left left sits Paul Yarborough alexander wilson no collect known collectively as the alexander string quartet San Francisco States internationally acclaimed quartet and residents they will be joined by the San Francisco State morrison center Student ensemble the Holloway string quartet in performance you you you you what what wonderful musical talent do we have let's give them one more round of applause please now it's my honor to recognize dr. Timothy white chancellor the california state university president Wong Carolyn chide ladies and gentlemen the Honorable Willie Brown perhaps I white can join you Brown and go to Sacramento to change the dialogue about the value of public higher education will be known as the mocha brothers blues brothers have nothing on us to profound honor as your new chancellor to invest les Wong as San Francisco State University's 13th president as you've heard president Wong has a strong background and working collaboratively in a public university settings he's focused on students he's focused on the learning and creative environment provided by a strong faculty he is very supportive and enabling of staff who are vital to the success of our university he is also a strategic thinker an innovator who has the skills to help this university to navigate the path ahead one of great change one of great opportunity in one of profound importance to our quality of life our economic development and the social mobility of our people but most importantly he understands San Francisco State and he's passionate about improving the close ties and impact that this institution has with its greater community I know that as Bay Area natives he and Phyllis consider being here a true homecoming and that they will be careful thoughtful and progressive Stewart to this wonderful campus well president Wong and trustee linscheid please join me give me my space by the authority granted in me by the trustees of the California State University I hereby invest you with the office of president of San Francisco State University with all the honors the privileges and most importantly the authority responsibility and accountability pertaining thereto ladies and gentlemen please join me in welcoming president les Wong I was trying to talk them into designing a baseball cap for me that might have been more appropriate Chancellor white trustees my fellow university presidents a great faculty a great staff an incredible alumni base san francisco state advocates and all who have been touched by the magic that is San Francisco State University thank you for such a warm welcome most importantly to all of our students thank you for continuing to give me hope and assurance that our dreams and expectations about your future and this country will continue to be my driving inspiration I've watched San Francisco State students dance act sing and create the most incredible music I've seen them work in our science labs and with the children and young people of San Francisco students planted trees with me they ran 5k with me and quite a few of you danced in the quad with me I've heard student leadership speak loudly and intelligently about affordable housing sustainability low tuition and accessible classes campus safety and access to quality faculty I have seen this campus walk the talk of social justice I've also seen a three-quarter court buzzer beater against a nationally ranked team a towering home run by a lady Gator also against the nationally ranked team and soon will welcome home a national champion in wrestling these are but a few examples of my passion to see student performance in and out of the classroom I can't imagine a career away from a university campus and what a delight to be on this campus I want to welcome the many friends in my family from throughout this wonderful country I have had the incredible good fortune to work among the best educators on this planet our adventures through the state of Washington Colorado North Dakota Michigan's glorious Upper Peninsula and now home in this incredible city by the bay where it all started for the two of us well the only phrase I can think of is how fortunate i have been to have phyllis with me how fortunate i have been to be near some of the greatest minds and some of the greatest teachers how fortunate I am that our boys and their families inspire my passion for the future and how fortunate I am that the students I have had around me and especially those here at San Francisco State University are as eager as I am to keep looking ahead I share their optimism I've been fortunate to be in the business of higher education well more than 30 but less than a hundred years upon reflection i can imagine being a university president where hope and expectation can ever be compromised by despair and stupidity but i don't want to get into reflections about where I've been good fortune has blessed many of my steps but I want to adhere to satchel pages add me at admonition don't look back something might be gaining on you today is about the future it is about our work with students it is about our work with ideas and experiences that will change and improve the lives of our students just as their work will change all of our lives in deep and meaningful ways I'd like to talk about the future knowing full well that the effort of an incredible faculty and staff coupled with energy of our students will have a far greater bearing on the future than anything I could imagine at this point in time looking ahead is a pretty risk intensive activity but bear with me because what follows is less about prediction than it is about awareness and I promise that the word budget as I just said it will be the only time you will hear it in my remarks today my senses tell me that the mix and complexity of issues and challenges ahead will sound quite like an old record played on a new machine that is the problems won't surprise us they haven't gone away and like an old song we may remember the melody and not the name but there's a new duo in town who promises to take their act to Sacramento and make that change to set up my main point i'd like to take two examples quite simple ones to get at an idea that has been dogging me for some time and when i tell you the two examples it's okay for you to think hmm where is he going with this my two examples are loved and hunger yes love and hunger now remember it's my investiture and I have you trapped in here so please be patient listen and give it a chance to do a little thinking love I wonder if the explosion of dating and matchmaking services will resolve an issue about which Shakespeare wrote so eloquently in today's blistering world of technology apps smartphones a lot of dull phones and iPhones we still write about love and read about it on paper and even on our iPads and Kindles some of those stories come with illustrations these love stories will be seen by a far greater proportion of the world's society whether in print or movie form yes we love to read about love we have become a technological society who will compile an even greater volume of statistics about love will conduct and publish research and even in some cases nowadays many cases will hook people up in the name of love through technology that much stuff about love has led the speed dating and many other more nefarious dating games there are a zillion pieces of software and apps that help you look for find and enjoy the person with whom you hope to love there is so much out there about and are related to love I hope nobody in here ever hears the following quote with ninety eight percent confidence derived from an assortment of validated measures at the point 0 0 1 level we are a match and if we date two point three four more times we should consider marriage and perhaps have children if our confidence measure goes up another point three four five I think a well-chosen poem is far more effective better yet a game at AT&T technology as good as it is will not mediate nor clarify the fundamentals of love the danger is that we begin to see the technical process and the numbers and the anecdotes and mistake them for meaningful knowledge about love that is it is too easy to mistake volumes of data and literature for understanding the phenomena you might expect me to say well love will always be a mystery or that we write more about those things we least understand now that's too romantic if we don't come up with a much better and dynamic understanding of human relationships known as love the cost can be painfully hi it is not a stretch of the imagination that the bizarre and catastrophic gun attacks we witnessed result from a complex mix of psychological issues about love and relationships and for example gun availability which we need to understand much better today than we ever have in the past my point here is that we need to cut through the massive stuff and not be afraid to ask better questions we need to think out of the box on so fundamental and issue as love okay enough about love let's talk about hunger you would think by now that we would be able to feed and care for a greater proportion of the human population than we do today shamefully even in the United States access to the fundamentals of a basic diet on a regular basis remains a challenge for too many of our fellow citizens and it makes you think deeply about what our responsibility is to the least fortunate in our country surely to eat and live free of fear would rank up there we have fought deeply about feeding each other and I suspect we know how to do it and the solutions have been known to us for some time but variables unrelated to food production and distribution stand in the way okay don't worry I'm not going to review that work here today let's just reiterate a point we need to think out of the box on this issue to the point I am getting at is the box which we need to think our way out of may not even exist maybe it's within our abilities as educators to ask students here's how others have constructed the box you have a choice and the opportunity to allow yourself to a believe that you are in the box and feel comfortable and yes it's okay to be in some boxes or to begin to understand your need to figure out how to get out of the box or three you can take this you're getting at San Francisco State University and learn how to throw the box away or deny its existence or even have the strength to ignore the box now of course the correct answer students is 3 now if you got this one right and I won't ask you if you did you must now commit yourself to an educated life which I tell my students is characterized by dangerous thinking throwing away the box denying it or ignoring it takes the willingness to engage a very dangerous idea namely through this education it will force you perhaps challenge you to think better to think differently and to think without fear and there will be considerable forces who don't want you to have this kind of power the san francisco state university education will give you the power to throw the box away to deny it to ignore it or better to change it but an effective education is a prerequisite without this education the walls of the box are thick and greasy and the grip of those who don't want you to leave the box is firm a university education at its most fundamental and most powerful way provides each participant the skills and ideas to challenge the box that everyone believes you must be in but there is another layer to this metaphor your education will give you the power to choose the box you want to be in this university education has to be challenging and rigorous so that you can free yourself the box with vigor and intelligence and I've become sensitive to what we do so well here at San Francisco State and I am sure that if we remember the following guides our students more than most will not be trapped in a box for example a san francisco state university education must be relevant so that you can be taken seriously a san francisco state university education must be inspiring because there will be times when only you see certain outcomes and dangers and you'll need the courage to speak up and to resist a san francisco state university education should be genuine because we owe our students the truth not only about their performance but the means by which they can become better people and a san francisco state university education is about becoming your best and not as we see it but as students define it you can see that I get pretty spiritual about us university education that is student based challenging rigorous inspiring and liberating owning your own mind comes at a price and it requires significant effort and I am NOT saying that students and professors should destroy the important conceptual frameworks that may very well be needed but we do need to nurture creativity insight and self-direction San Francisco State University is pretty good at this and I believe that is why we are among the best universities on this planet we foster in our students the passion to step free of boxes for all the right reasons and motives in closing my expectation is that a university education at San Francisco State University how students confront life's challenges their way it would be too easy for me to to think or to refer to an old Frank Sinatra song about let's do it my way that would have been cool if only I could sing but owning your own mind is about leaving some of these traditional and unwanted boxes behind I believe our students will put those boxes behind them and if they do it I also believe that success leads them to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others while making a meaningful difference in their own life it's a very simple maxim for me because I firmly believe that making a difference in the wives of others enriches our own in ways that no machine no software no app could ever do and the romantic part of me says who knows love can't be far behind that is the power of a university education the power to help students on their own mind now I'll close by thanking all of you for listening to my addiction about students and a university education I'll close with what I think comes closest to how I have thought about the future of San Francisco State University and the students and the faculty and the staff who defined this great University if it sounds too simple or too common for our great endeavor I apologize but it is one way i think about my passion for what I do again back to sexual page less known but more relevant to me he is reported to have said I ain't never had a job I just always played baseball for me I have never had a job I just always thought sometimes our deepest passions are fulfilled in the simplest ways I am deeply humbled by today by the presence of so many good and brilliant minds who share my passion for learning and for students I never would have believed that so many people would honor a simple kid from Oakland I want to rededicate myself to the students of San Francisco State University and to the generations of people who will help our students escape the box every bit of gratitude deservedly goes to my wife Phyllis my boys their wives and my grandchildren they are my box which I protect my family who keeps my passions alive to the students of San Francisco State University I expect you all to cut a more meaningful a more meaningful path than I have that is the greatness of a university like San Francisco State University thank you all thank you president Wong well ladies and gentlemen that concludes our ceremony president Wong will lead a recessional and we ask that you remain seated until we all have it exited the theater please join us in that Jack Adams Hall located next door in the Cesar Chavez student center for a reception immediately following this event who knows we may convince him to sing my way by Frank Sinatra we look forward to seeing you all at the reception thank

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