Articles, Blog

Carrying the Flame: Presidential Installtion of Len Jessup [Full Program]


– My name is Andrew Vosko and
I am the associate provost of transdisciplinary studies here at Claremont Graduate University. And it is my pleasure to
welcome you here today to our Carrying the Flame event, the Presidential Installation
of Dr. Len Jessup, 12th president of CGU. And we are celebrating CGU’s
past, present, and future. To begin, I’d first like to
introduce associate professor of cultural studies and
history, Josh Goode, to share CGU in its own words. (audience applauds) – Good afternoon. – [Audience] Good afternoon. – Good after. (audience laughs) So this is what happens when you have a historian as the first one up. I apologize for the opening
sentence, don’t panic. On October 14th, 1925 … (audience laughs) Thank you for that. The charter for the Claremont Colleges as Claremont Graduate
University, CGU, was first known, was issued in Sacramento by the secretary of state of California. Just two years later,
James Arnold Blaisdell, the architect of the Claremont Plan, this consortium of colleges,
and the first president of CGU, was already invoking the past. To be the guy that would drive
this new consortium forward. In a letter to Harvey Mudd
in 1927, Blaisdell wrote: “It seems to me that we
must build our future “primarily out of the
past, out of the confidence “we have established,
and out of the people “whose lives have been
interwoven into our history.” Today, we will follow
Blaisdell’s injunction as we install a new president and inaugurate a new moment at CGU, and while we look forward or
we look to the future today to carry the flame forward, we discover that by looking at the
past, as in the scroll of images we just saw, we see a tether to moments both far
away and some closer by. And in that effort to see the lives and ideas interwoven into our past, what stands out the most,
what is most surprising, and, hopefully, most reassuring, is that the traits that we at CGU continue to pride ourselves in that I know were attractive to Len
Jessup when he arrived here have been essential traits of
CGU from its very beginning. A look at the past reveals a DNA in CGU present since the beginning,
ideas and principles that have always defined us. And I thought I would prove it to you by reading a few comments from CGU’s past, CGU in its own words since its founding by Blaisdell in 1925. For example, we wanna be world-facing, for Blaisdell wanted a graduate school that was connected to the world, a university that was dedicated to solving nettlesome social problems. As Blaisdell himself enjoined students at a convocation address in 1947, 12 years after his retirement, he said, “All of you will
inevitably participate “in time’s greatest debate,
the making of a better world.” In 1943 in the midst of World War II, the graduation speaker also in his graduation speech asked the students, “To what
ends is graduate training?” A question that I imagine
many of the graduates are asking themselves. (audience laughs) And he wrote pretty highmindedly. He wrote, or he said, “The
school is a reflection “of ourselves, and the
school does not operate “in a closed room. “Students live and study in a world “and the way to justice, to truth, “and to decent, informed
living, and genuine democracy “among the peoples of the Earth “will be cleared by those who teach.” Okay, so we value being socially engaged, to bringing university
research into the world. Those of you familiar with our CGU mottoes over the past two decades will recognize how the links our
approach has to the past. But how do we do it? Today, we’d say by
teaching within and across disciplinary boundaries. And lo and behold, there in the record is an interest in interdisciplinary
from a long time ago. Russell Story, the third president of CGU, Claremont Colleges at the time, spoke often of the need,
especially in the mid-1930s, to teach teachers who were
seeking a specific credential or a specific field of
study, to teach them broadly in the liberal arts so that
they weren’t just trained in one thing, to teach across fields. In 1940, Edwin Embree, then president of the Julius Rosenwald Fund, a foundation devoted to bringing
primary school education to the poorest, most neglected
parts of the country, lauded the graduate school in
his own speech to graduates. And what he liked was our
crossing of disciplines. He wrote, or he said, “I
should like to see Claremont “make a frontal attack on the
central question of today. “How diverse peoples may
live together happily “and successfully in a
rapidly shrinking world. “The solution of this vital problem “involves many kinds of
study, many approaches, “which, for the convenience
of the academic schedule “we often think of as
separate disciplines. “But the unity of the problem “and the directness of the objective call “for cohesion and interplay
among these subjects.” From the CGU president
in 1966, Louis Benezet, he said, “Yet our
responsibility for education “in ideas and in orientation to society “has not really changed. “We must find out how to
teach this to students “over a broader intellectual range, “and we must find out how
to encourage professors “to develop a fondness
for this kind of inquiry, “and for the type of imaginative
teaching that it implies.” And lastly, with apologies
for my self-centeredness showcasing the historians,
from the history faculty in 1975, seemingly
answering Benezet’s call from nine years earlier, writing in their annual report to the dean,
the faculty explained the work the department
had done to redesign its curriculum in that year. They wrote, “From the
beginning we have sought “to stimulate students to
design their own programs, “and to seek out the methods
they find most promising, “in furthering their personal aims, “and professional ambitions. “Our principal objective
centers on experimenting “toward developing true
interdisciplinary education “on the graduate level,
and on gearing our studies “toward training students as individuals “with their own unique
interests and talents. And there, that last little bit, another theme, a desire
to be student-centered, to meet students where
they are in their lives intellectually, socially, to design a heavily individualized curriculum. From Malcolm Douglas, a
longtime faculty member here at CGU from 1954 to 1999, and the son of the graduate school’s first full-time faculty member, Aubrey Douglas. He summed up Blaisdell’s
vision and CGU’s mission as he had seen it in his career here. He wrote, “Here would stand enshrined “the idea of the individual as the locus “and reason for being of
rigorous graduate study. “The student exploring a
multidisciplinary world “with interdisciplinary
tools and questions, “engaging in a continuous
conversation with faculty, “personally involved in her or his “intellectual and social life.” So, like the photos that we saw earlier, history is like the
buildings that surround us, anchors that bind us to this place. But, as the words of those
from the past remind us, it is also a tailwind,
impelling us forward with the assurance that
we’ve been doing something and doing it well through the
past almost hundred years. Thank you. (audience applauds) And now, I’d like to welcome to the stage Tim Kirley, the chair of
CGU’s board of trustees. (audience applauds) – Good afternoon. I am Tim Kirley, chair
of the board of trustees of Claremont Graduate University. And on behalf of the
entire university board it is my pleasure to welcome all of you to this special celebration of CGU and the installation of our
12th president, Len Jessup. Dr. Len Jessup. I’m gonna get informal later. My introduction to Claremont
Graduate University came via the writing and
teachings of Peter Drucker. His unflagging optimism
in the human spirit, combined with his insight to
put people ahead of profits, really is what brought me to this campus. And all of you who have had an opportunity to speak with President
Jessup know he, too, is an unflagging optimist,
tempered with years of higher education experience. That’s the humor in the
speech right there, folks. (audience laughs) All right, I would like to acknowledge some of the guests who
are in the audience today, members of our university
board of trustees. Thank you for joining us today. And former CGU presidents, Deborah Freund and Joseph Hough are here with us today. The presidents of the Claremont Colleges and from universities in
surrounding communities. From Pomona College, Gabrielle Starr. From Claremont McKenna, Hiram Chodosh. From Harvey Mudd, Maria
Klawe is with us today. In addition, from Scripps,
Lara Tiedens is with us. And from Keck, Dr. Sheldon
Schuster is with us. From Pitzer, Melvin Oliver and from the Claremont Colleges, Stig Lanesskog. From the University of La
Verne, Devorah Lieberman and from Claremont Lincoln
University, Eileen Aranda. From Western University Health
Sciences, Daniel Wilson, and from Mount St. Mary’s
University, Jacqueline Doud. Glad you’re here, Jacquie. From the City of Claremont, we are pleased to have with us Mayor Opanyi Nasiali and Mayor Pro Tem, Corey Calaycay. City Manager Tara Schultz is also with us today, thank you. And City Council candidate
Ed Reece along with incoming City Council
Member Jennifer Stark. We’ve also invited distinguished speakers including members of our alumni community to speak about our university’s heritage and our future. In today’s program, Dr.
Jessup writes that the work of our university is a collective effort. There may be a single light, as our motto reminds us, but many flames contribute
to the brightness. So thank you for joining
us for this event. Thanks to all of you who every day, every day, carry the
flame on behalf of CGU. And now it is my pleasure to turn the podium over to Andrew Vosko, our master of ceremonies. Andy? (audience applauds) – Thank you. I’d like to continue by introducing our long list of
distinguished speakers today by first introducing Dr.
Gloria Willingham-Touré. Dr. Gloria Willingham-Touré
received her PhD from the School of
Educational Studies in 1996, and her daughter, Dr. Gina
Newton, received her PhD in the School of
Educational Studies in 2017, graduating from CGU 21 years apart. By some, they have been considered
nontraditional students. Here’s how Dr. Willingham-Touré
is nontraditional. When she enrolled in CGU in 1991, she was already the first African American chief of nursing education and research in one of the largest and most complex VA facilities in the country. She was a lieutenant colonel
in the US Army Reserves, had successfully raised three
children as a divorced woman, worked full-time while
earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and also served on numerous community-based organizations and influential boards. And, that’s not enough,
earlier in her life, Dr. Gloria Dr. Willingham-Touré
had been active in the Civil Rights Movement, selected as one of the black students to enroll in the newly
desegregated Little Rock Central High School in the 1960s, where she learned the
importance of institutions seeing beyond what they had
deemed a traditional student. Those traditions being limited to a world seen only from the inside
of institutional walls, inattentive to the rich traditions Gloria and other nontraditional students like her carried with them. It has been her mission
to connect those persons deemed nontraditional to themselves, to their communities, and to the so-called traditional mainstream, as founder of the Village Projects initiatives of Afram Global Organization Inc. She has adopted the
mantra, Lift as We Climb to Inspire Forward Movement, a mantra shaped by her experiences at CGU. It is now my pleasure to ask
Dr. Gloria Willingham-Touré to share, in her words, that inspiration. (audience applauds) – 27 years ago I drove
onto this beautiful campus with only one goal in mind. And that goal was to be
admitted to the PhD program. Now, I made that decision knowing that I had already
received the dreaded notice that said I had not been
accepted for admission. I walked into Harper Hall,
where I was greeted warmly by Ethel Rogers, and I
told her that I was here to ask for reconsideration. She gently explained
to me that I would need to wait on the next admission cycle because all admission decisions had already been made. I could feel tears welling
up from deep inside me. The word wait was all too common to me. I had heard that word
every step of my journey to that point, and I told her that this was the time,
and this was the place, and I had to do it now. She asked me ever so gently, Gloria, what is so important about now? Why can’t you wait until next year? And with that question,
something got ahold of me. And I began to tell her my story. I told her that I have
trusted these feelings within me all my life. And my feelings about the right time and the right place had served me well. I told her that I knew deep down inside me that if I didn’t do it now I might never have this chance again. Now, I could tell by the look on her face she was having some
second thoughts here now. But somehow through all of that I could also tell that she understood what I was feeling. So she summoned Dr. David Drew, who was a member of the admissions team. And I told him my story,
adding even more details now. (audience laughs) I shared with him the
story of my experiences as a black student at Little
Rock Central High School and about the book that
documented those experiences, just in case he didn’t believe me. I told him that I learned in that school how to complete work on
my own under circumstances that he couldn’t even imagine. I definitely knew how to succeed, so if he was wondering
whether I would be successful at Claremont, this was nothing for me. I was almost crying as I had never talked
about that part of my life nor its impact on how I
learned and why I learned, but the more I talked, the
more strength I gained. I told him about how I
had raised my children, how I’d had a successful career, and now it was time for
me to complete my PhD, and I assured him that if he wold just allow me to enter this program, that I would graduate. He smiled, and he looked at me, barely speaking above a whisper, he said to me, I know you will. I know you will. That one affirming
sentence, I know you will, meant more to me in that moment than I can ever describe. While I always knew
that if given the chance I could do it, there
was no doubt in my mind, but I wasn’t sure that other people could see that can-do spirit within me. To me, CGU was a foreign place, and I was an outsider. CGU would have to be able to look outside its walls to see me. And in that moment, Dr. Drew was CGU, and
he was outward facing, and he was seeing me. I was admitted to CGU. I graduated. And I have remained connected
to this great university through its up and its downs for almost three decades. So Dr. Jessup, my story
is only one of many. And as you lead CGU on this
outward-facing journey, you will hear so many more stories. And CGU will become known as that place that says to that student, that graduate, this community, this world, I know you can. I know you will. Now is the time, and
Claremont Graduate University is the place. Thank you.
(audience applauds) – Thank you, Dr. Willingham-Touré. So in 1997, which was just one year after Dr. Willingham-Touré
defended her PhD, the Keck Graduate Institute, or KGI, just as a heads up, you’re gonna get used to a lot of letters and abbreviations, ’cause that’s what we like to do here, was born, the seventh C, or College of the Claremont Colleges to
join its sister institution, CGU, focusing on graduate education. Dr. Sheldon Schuster became
president of KGI in 2003, making him, today, the
longest-serving president of the seven C’s and at
the youngest institution of the seven C’s. He also serves as chair
of the President’s Council for the Claremont Colleges. Under President Schuster’s tenure, KGI has robustly expanded its research, its reach, its programs,
and its resources. President Schuster received
his PhD in biochemistry from the University of
Arizona, like Dr. Len Jessup. The Arizona part, not
the biochemistry part. (audience laughs) He is recognized as an
international expert in enzyme biochemistry,
specifically in understanding how to use that biochemistry
to target disease. He has held biochemistry
and molecular biology professorships at the
University of Nebraska and at the University of Florida, where he has also held a
number of administrative posts, including director of
the Biotechnology Program and interim assistance vice president of Research and Graduate Education. Schuster also holds the high honor of being recognized as a Fellow of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science. I would now like to ask
President Sheldon Schuster, decorated scholar and
president of our sister school, to share his voice. (audience applauds) – Good afternoon and thank you, Andrew, for that kind introduction, especially the part where you didn’t say just that I was the
longest-serving president but also the oldest. (audience laughs) Your kindness is much appreciated. But it is an honor and a
pleasure to be here today, not only as a president of your sister graduate institution KGI, but more importantly to represent the Council of Presidents
of the Claremont Colleges. It is a privilege to
welcome Len and Kristy to our community. It is also an opportunity to
hear the perspective of history from the youngest and smallest institution and from our little view across and as a co-graduate institution. As we know and as we
heard eloquently stated by Dr. Goode, nearly a century ago, President Blaisdell articulated the vision that society was going to undergo vast changes in the future, changes both immense and unimaginable. He proposed that in order to lead in the world of higher education schools must strive to
overcome institutional inertia and remain relevant to the forces that would be current
technologies and events. For that to occur in
colleges, we needed to form in our little village of Claremont, a closely allied
interactive and cooperative association of small,
independent institutions of higher education that were
designed from their origins to fulfill important and
transformative needs in society. He sagely predicted the value of a tension between independence and collaboration. Pomona College was obviously
only the first institution until the formation of Scripps College and Claremont Graduate University, where we’re celebrating today. Indeed, by continually proving its value and reproving it over and over again, CGU is at the very heart
of our shared concept and it was and remains
central to our success. The model for which CGU
is a leader and innovator has undergone numerous changes and has in every case responded
with unrelenting regard to our values of collaboration,
sharing, and goodwill, and no matter what else,
the benefit to our students. After the consortium had
its earliest successes, and I speak editorially, we responded to the challenges of our society at critical times and
our most recent past. The formations of Claremont Men’s College, the predecessor of
Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, and Pitzer College, were all in response to
monumental historical challenges and they were and remain
extraordinary examples of both our shared values and their independent relevance and success. We have all grown from those early days. We have innovated, and we
have been recognized globally as the benchmark for engaged
teaching and learning and for our commitment to our students. But in addition to our ongoing concerns and current challenges, as a community we continually strive to
explore what new forces in society will require
that new structure. Indeed, I would not be here today if it were not for the vision
and collaborative spirit that enabled the formation
of Keck Graduate Institute, born as a result of the
need to bridge the advances in the biological sciences
of the 21st century with both business and
healthcare delivery. And it would shortchange
history if I did not highlight our unique bond and debt to CGU. As we were formed, it become
clear that the structure of the consortium needed to
change in order to accommodate this young upstart of an institution. Indeed, it required that CGU
no longer be the consortium in addition to the graduate university, and it needed to stand alone
financially and academically. Together, KGI and CGU
entered the rarefied world of graduate education
that was not subsidized by undergraduate activities,
forcing innovation and creativity unprecedented
in graduate education. And I would argue here today that CGU has succeeded spectacularly. We owe you a great debt. We will not forget that
before we were even accredited KGI gave degrees through CGU. In many ways, you incubated
KGI, and we thank you sincerely. The efficiencies inherent in the model of the highly cooperative consortium were easily appreciated. What is often not understood
is the fundamental importance of institutional independence
and friendly competition preordained by having all seven schools as self-governing, separate corporations. We can invent and be
creative much more rapidly and with a diversity of perspectives not often seen in other
models of higher education. Of course there is a
cost, well-illustrated by the locally, I believe
well-appreciated fact that we have more college
presidents in Claremont than either plumbers or house painters. (audience laughs) But with our shared history (laughs) … But with our shared history
and our common values we welcome you to our community. We look forward to getting
to know you as a partner in building the best educational
consortium in the world. Welcome, and best wishes. (audience applauds) – Tom Hsieh received his
executive MBA in 2004 from the Drucker School
of Management at CGU, and he has an undergraduate degree from another Claremont
College, Harvey Mudd. He is the founder and CEO of SplinterRock, a technology consulting company, and prior to founding SplinterRock, some of you might remember
the company EarthLink where he served for more than 10 years including during its early startup phase. Tom shines brightly on the world by giving back. Tom and his wife Bree are
committed to living modestly in order to donate the
rest of their income to nonprofit and civic efforts. Tom has taught throughout
the United States and Canada on economic justice, and he is a spokesperson
for Bolder Giving, a Gates-funded organization
that challenges people of wealth to give 50% or more of their wealth away. Tom gives back to the community
not only with his money but with his time, his
energy, and his leadership. He was the founding president
of the Board of Pomona Hope, the president of Pomona
Community Foundation, and he chairs the Economic Development Initiative for Pomona’s Promise. He’s also served on the board of the Elliott County Fair Association and currently serves on the
Learning Centers at Fairplex board, the Drucker School
Industry advisory board, the board, board, board,
board, board, board, board. (audience laughs) The San Gabriel Valley
Economic Partnership and Inter Valley Health Plan. We are grateful that Tom has offered words to give to us today
during the celebration, and I would now like to ask him
to please come to the stage. (audience applauds) – Well thank you, Professor Vosko. Back in 2002, when I was a
tech executive at EarthLink with a degree in physics from Harvey Mudd having helped grown the
startup into a $1.5 billion publicly traded company, and
acting as VP of engineering, finding myself overseeing 450 network and software engineers, and a budget in the hundreds of millions
of dollars, I thought, I could use some more formal development in the practice of management. What first drew me to consider CGU was Peter Drucker’s
philosophy about the social responsibility of management
in impacting society. When I heard that CGU had been the home of the father of modern management theory for many years, I thought, well, if CGU was good enough for Peter Drucker, it’s definitely good enough for me. I arrived at the school
after Professor Drucker had stopped teaching regular courses but was only giving special lectures. But I learned from his many colleagues and still felt his presence on campus. But not only did I enjoy
working with and learning from the many excellent professors, I also enjoyed working
with and learning from such a great cohort of fellow students. When you belong to a smaller academic community like
ours, everyone’s like family. And that’s how it felt. The Drucker philosophy that
I soaked in and absorbed during my time here at Drucker not only gave me the tools to be impactful in a number of different sectors, it gave me a framework to
understand my responsibility to be impactful in society as a whole. This year, our university is 93 years old, the oldest all-graduate
university in the country. Our campus is comprised of 19 acres of tree-filled Southern
California real estate with 2,200 enrolled students, a medium class size of nine. Today, CGU’s known for its
specialized recognized programs, a commitment to cultural
and intellectual diversity, collaborative, cross-discipline learning, personalized programs, and
practice-based learning. But today, CGU is more than
what you might find here on the campus at Claremont, California, because CGU also includes
an extensive network of alumni, 22,000 CGU alumni worldwide, making an impact, being agents of change in the world. Today, together with that
extensive worldwide network and all of us here, we are CGU. And as a proud member of the CGU community I am honored to be here today. President Jessup, we look
forward to your leadership and building CGU’s bright future together. Thank you (audience applauds) – Thank you, Tom. Jeanne Holm seems to shine
with boundless energy. She is a leader in open-data education, community building, and civic innovation. Jeanne is the deputy CIO,
assistant general manager, and senior technology advisor to the mayor for the City of Los Angeles. She founded the Data Science Federation to solve the city’s big challenges using data-driven approaches and as the former evangelist for data.gov for the executive office
of President Obama and the US White House, Jeanne led collaboration
and built communities using open government data. Jeanne has been a senior
consultant with the World Bank. She was the chief knowledge
architect at NASA. She is a distinguished instructor at UCLA. She is a fellow of the United Nations International Academy of Astronautics, and in her loads of spare time, she directs two startups and has written more than 130 publications. She holds a master’s degree from CGU’s Center for Information
Systems and Technology and is currently completing
her PhD there as well. Jeanne’s honors are numerous, including multiple honors from NASA. She received the Woman of the Decade Award from the Women’s Economic Forum, and three Webbys from
the International Academy of Digital Arts and
Sciences, to just name a few. Jeanne Holm, please give
me some of your energy. (audience laughs) But in seriousness,
please come to the stage and share some of that energy with us. (audience applauds) – So I’m honored to be here today and to represent the
thousands and thousands of proud Claremont Graduate
University students to welcome Dr. Len Jessup
as our new president to carry our flame forward. Len, today you step up to
lead and build on the legacy of those who have come before you. And I just wanna say that 22,000 of us, we’re watching you. (audience laughs) With a world-class faculty and staff from all walks of life,
and with a hugely diverse group of students, you
might think it’s hard to find the things that bind us together and set CGU apart from other universities. Some will say it’s because we’re a unique graduate research institution. Some will point to our
interdisciplinary programs. But I believe that our uniqueness is that CGU students
move forward in the world representing the values
that we have been taught. We have learned to be kind,
generous, curious, and brave. And our flame is lit with
these beacons of hope. So we learn to be kind, and
I think Gloria’s example is exactly the kind of kindness exemplified here at CGU every single day. We come from a huge
diversity of backgrounds from nearly every country in the world. And the interdisciplinary nature of CGU means that we interact daily with students from every walk of life. It means we need to open
our minds and our hearts to new ideas, new
cultures, new perspectives, and our way and our traditions
are not the only approach, and in fact may not be the best approach. Len’s first actions as president
model this very behavior by going on a listening tour, not to dictate, this will
be our new direction at CGU, but to co-create one based on considering other people’s points of view. He speaks from a place of service, which has been a hallmark
of CGU graduates’ work. Our kindness shows up in
our commitment to those who are more vulnerable,
who just need a hand, or who need us to transform
government, industry, and academia to be more
inclusive and supportive of every single person on the planet. We learn to be generous. Len has mentioned that he believes in a world of abundance, and so do I. In such a world, we do
not have to be defined by haves and have-nots. In our world, knowledge
is the coin of the realm and when we spend this, we
are not poorer, but richer. Our knowledge begets new ideas, new research directions, new enthusiasts. I wonder if this shared value is because Len and I share common
mentors, Dr. Lorne Olfman and the late Dr. Paul Gray from the Center for Information Systems
and Technology here at CGU. When I was a student
and later in my career Paul and Lorne were always generous with their time and knowledge. I wasn’t only taught how to
design information systems and manage data, I was
taught how to help others be empowered to excel as well. Here at CGU we learn to be curious. The hallmark of a CGU
education is the ability to ask, try, fail, and succeed, to learn by doing and
not just by discussing. We are a university that acts, that brings the change in our community, our society, and our world. CGU alumni cannot only do what we have because we’ve been
encouraged to be curious. In my interdisciplinary
work with Peter Drucker, he would constantly challenge me why. Why, Jeanne, do you think that’s true? Why do you think that’s the rule? And he would never tell me the answer. He would lead me to be
curious and break through the barriers that held me back. And each CGU professor,
whether we’re learning database structures or
public-private partnerships, instilled in all of us
a sense of curiosity and confidence to pursue our crazy ideas. And we learned, most
importantly, to be brave. We’re all about taking risks
with those crazy ideas, trying new things,
learning new approaches, challenging our own entrenched ideas. Bravery, as we know, is
not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it. My classmates went on to create lifesaving medical innovations, reinvent government, change the way technologies
connect people, and transform our understanding
of the human mind. CGU carried me forward from NASA to the City of Los
Angeles, to the World Bank, to the White House only because
I learned here to be brave. Whether I was challenging
175 government agencies to open up data for
transparency and innovation for President Obama, or I
was working in Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak to find ways to stem the spread of the disease, this was only possible because
I was given those tools of generosity, curiosity, and kindness to understand my fear and others’ fear and figure how to forge a path through. Kindness, generosity,
curiosity, and bravery, the beacons of hope that light the flame of every CGU graduate,
these are the values, Len, that I sense you bringing forward and leading us into the future. Our actions together will
continue to change the world. Len, carry our flame, and we
will carry you in our hearts. On behalf of the graduates at CGU, I know we are in good hands with you. (audience applauds) – Thank you, Jeanne. There is a promise of CGU, and that promise is a
notion that we carry with us we nurture and we will
pass on the experiences that help us and others
to thrive in this world. The promise of carrying the flame forward. Our elected Graduate
Student Council president, CGU Drucker School alumna, PhD student in political science and public policy, my colleague, Whitney Martinez, carries that flame forward. Whitney works to create positive change through her research using both economic and public policy to
combat structural barriers to the underserved and marginalized. She has both undergraduate
and graduate degrees in political science from
the University at Albany including a graduate certificate
in women in public policy. Whitney has provided research
and analytical support for the New York State Division
of Criminal Justice Service. She was selected as a minority leader during the Model Legislative Session at the New York State Senate, and served in the University at Albany’s
Office of Conflict Resolution. In each of these roles,
she has worked to increase transparency, efficiency,
and accountability. And, as a talented artist, cue the music, Whitney also fuses her passion
for the performing arts with her public policy
and business research to create meaningful impact. Whitney’s commitment to
academic and professional rigor, her dedication to public service, and her infectious enthusiasm make her a powerful global
citizen and agent of change. I would now like to
invite Whitney Martinez up to share with us that flame. (audience applauds) – Welcome to you all,
and hello, Claremont! Give it up for yourselves.
(audience applauds) Yes! This afternoon, we are among trailblazers, world leaders, aspiring activists, and just some plain old academic
thrill seekers, I suppose. It is with great joy that I
share in the Claremont spirit of hope, humility, and honor, and unity with you all on this special day. The distinction between creativity
and innovation is focus. Creativity is about unleashing
the potential of the mind to conceive new ideas, while innovation is about introducing change
and the work required to make an idea viable. Claremont has given me the
space to manifest both. Four years ago, I moved from
New York City to Claremont, and the resource-filled
university consortium coupled with the intimate
academic campus setting all set my visual adjustment
to suburban mountain views from the urban city skyline. From being a research assistant
to renowned professors to event planning with HAGEL
BURGERs for Taco Tuesday, to starting one of the
first seven seatwide organizations, Phenomenal Voices L.A., the ends are secondary to the means. The process of getting
to know the students, faculty, and staff that I learned with and work for are the reasons
that I love this place. Collaborating with Claremont
GEMS for research creation and resource innovation have added meaning and adventure to my
life as a student leader and doctoral student. John Quincy Adams once
said, “If your actions “inspire others to dream more, learn more, “do more, and become
more, you are a leader.” Today we convene to commemorate
a highly anticipated and historic moment
sure to shape the fabric of Claremont for us
individually, communally, and institutionally, and has the ability to propel the ignition of our flame on the world map forward. And so one more time for the record, thank you all for being here for CGU’s presidential installation
for Dr. Len Jessup. (audience applauds) What we’ve created, are creating, and will create then and before, here and now, later and ahead, impacts the direction of student research, faculty enterprise, and
the ripeness of the soil for our domestic and international voices. The world within reach starts here with Claremont’s curious creators. To attain and maintain the
fluttering of our flame we, we are called to convene, congregate, and cross swords to cultivate comprehension and create change. We are called to champion each other, to focus our efforts on
continuous improvement. We are called to be responsible for holding each other accountable to a consensually high
standard of execution. We must remember that success is the sum of small efforts which are repeated day in and day out, and thus, we hold
steadfastly to our vision and rise together. The Graduate Student Council, thank you. (audience laughs) The Graduate Student Council
has had the privilege of working with President Len Jessup over the past three months. And his support for our vision has drawn us closer to our goals of collaboration and transparency. Creating a campus culture of connectivity requires authentic leadership, which we’ve witnessed
firsthand working with him. He is supportive and invested in the well-being
of all CGU students. He even joined in on the
fun of lighting the torch during our Light the Flame opening event. Best of all, he is calm, approachable, and I look forward to his continued leadership and future collaborations. The GSC is a platform for our voices to be heard and applied and the establishment of
our Alumni Association, the first university meeting I attended with President Jessup, is a testament of just that. The future of CGU and how much others believe in that future lies in our ability to
convey our uniqueness as a unified body of creators where we highlight our commonalities and operationalize the
execution of our goals in a succinct and holistic plan. Change is not made in isolation. We can redefine and re-energize our goal to move forward and
engage enthusiastically, focus on empowerment over intervention, inclusion over isolation, understanding over condemnation, and with this approach, we lead to engage and listen to understand. This positions us to venture out with a complete toolkit to inspire others and help to change the world. By being connected we can innovate, create, navigate, encourage, inspire, listen actively, love unconditionally, and create the space for the change we want to become globally. It all starts with us. The culture we cultivate
at and in Claremont. This new trajectory we’re on, the soil is ripe, and CGU’s time to create a globally recognized brand with the culture we embrace from within. It begins with the culture in which we embrace from within as a collective. The question on the floor is, will you be a contributor or a spectator? We at the GSC in CGU look
forward to your involvement. So CGU flames, enjoy, and remember, when you find yourself
in positions of power I encourage you to empower those to join us in our efforts of carrying the flame forward. Congratulations, President Len Jessup. Peace unto you all, thank you. (audience applauds) – Whitney, this is the
second time I’ve followed you onto the stage.
(audience laughs) It’s not getting any
easier, I gotta tell ya. Wow, wow! Thank you. For some universities the
search for a president can take a long time. Our university has been very fortunate. Early in our search process, one candidate stood clearly above the rest, Len Jessup. Dr. Jessup, will you please come forward so that I may invest you with
the presidential medallion? The use of the medallion
in chains dates back. (audience laughs)
– What? We’re gonna call it
chains of responsibility. It’s a sign of high office and our medallion has been cast with our university seal and our motto, Multa lumina lux una. Dr. Jessup, as the chair
of the board of trustees, we’ve chosen you to be the
president of our university. You’re recognized as an outstanding member of higher education. We’re exited about our future together. Very excited about that. And I would like to now
present you with the chain. I’ll put you right here. (audience laughs) (audience applauds and cheers)
Our 12th president of Claremont Graduate
University, Len Jessup. – Thank you for that. Scared me a little bit, I wasn’t too sure of what was coming. But let me just say first some thank yous. I’m gonna promise to keep this succinct. But Tim, thanks to you and the board, our board members who are
here, both present and past, for bringing me to Claremont
Graduate University. Incredible opportunity for Kristy and I. We’re really happy to be here. What do you think about
the speakers that came? What do you think? How about a round of applause
(audience applauds) for everyone? Wow! Thanks to all of them for
coming and for speaking, and to all the staff
that organized the event and to our facilities crew
for keeping the podium, these flags flying.
(audience laughs) Best line of the day, though,
I think goes to Shelley. I got to use your line,
more presidents in Claremont than plumbers or painters. I think that was it
(audience laughs) if I remember right, perfect. And I wanna thank also
my fellow presidents and the Claremont Consortium and Stig, and our other presidents who are here in the region and to guests that have come over from Las Vegas
and Bloomington, Indiana, and other places to be here with me today. Thanks to all of you for being here today. We decided to keep this
kind of on the down low, if you will, just no cap and gown, we didn’t wanna do a lot
of pomp and circumstance, and just make this more
of a community gathering, a kind of town and gown gathering, and I know I’m the only thing between us and really good food from Chef Bernadette just right across the
way, and I’ll speed it up. (audience laughs) I do wanna say a quick thank you also to John Maguire who recently
passed and the Maguire family. I’ve talked about the
classic quote attributed to Isaac Newton, standing
on the shoulders of giants. He and I fortunately when
I got here this summer got to have a nice long lunch
together and a good long talk, and then I was able to see
him a number of other times throughout the 4 1/2 months
that we’ve been here in the job. For all of us I’m sure, our hearts go out to the family and to his daughter. You talk about standing
on the shoulder of giants and a president who had tremendous impact on this institution. I’m just very fortunate
that I got to spend some time with him. Well, Kristy and I arrived in early June and we’re thrilled to be in Claremont, city of trees and PhDs. And living in the old
home just a block over. Beautiful, beautiful old home. And we’re opening up now for events. We’d like to have everyone over. Maybe not all at once, we’ll
kind of do it by sections. But we’re loving it here. I thought what I would do is just, I’m gonna tell a quick story, and then I’ve just got a couple of things to say based on it. I think this is probably the best way to say a little bit about who I am. I’m gonna ask forgiveness
from my UNLV friends. You probably heard this store
before, an old baseball story. I like to tell stories;
they’re often baseball stories. And they can fact-check this
to see if I’ve told the story the same way the second time. I grew up, Italian immigrants
on both sides of the family, grew up in the Bay Area,
first one to go to college in my family, and I went
to just play baseball to a little junior college
in Northern California, College of the Siskiyous,
if you’ve heard of that, in Weed, California. Not what you think.
(audience laughs) Named after Abner Weed, was
the mayor of Weed long ago. So that was my big break,
to get to go play baseball for a couple of years. And I learned a lot being there. I learned a lot from sports in general, but especially those two years. The anecdote that I wanna share that Arlen and Diane and Jean have heard, is that, so I got to play in every game. I wasn’t the best at baseball
but some days I started, some days I was brought
in in special situations. But I got to play a lot. One afternoon we were on an away game and we were against a really good team and an incredible pitcher. And the pitcher was just
dominating our lineup. We could not get anyone on
base, we couldn’t score. Our pitcher was actually
also, Robert Atteberry, I remember was having a good day as well. The other team had one or two runs, so our pitcher was
doing a fairly good job, but we just could not get anything going against this pitcher, no offense. And so as the coach often
did, Coach Dennis Duras at some point late in the game, I think their pitcher started to get tired and so he walked one of our batters so we finally got somebody on first base. Here we go, we’re getting
a little rally going. And I was sort of the
team’s utility player. I’d do a little bit of this,
I’d go in when they needed me. I was a good tutor for
math, I could do everything. (audience laughs)
I just helped out wherever I could. And this was one of those
days where the coach kind of calls on me to go in the game and take the place of that player that had just got walked
and was on first base. I could run, had one
skill that I was good at. I could run pretty fast. So he put me in right
through the end of this game to try to make something happen. So, you have to imagine, that running in the space of about 10 seconds from the bench to first base, and I’m not warmed up or anything, and I’m starting to hyperventilate, and I’m like, okay, here we go. I’ve gotta do something. So our coach is over
on the third base line, he’s the third base coach so
he’s kind of directing traffic if anyone should happen to get on base and there I was, and
I’m looking over at him. And I’m thinking, all right, here we go. He’s gonna start to give me the signs. And for the baseball aficionados you know how it works is, the third
base coach with either look at his batter or
if a runner’s on base, he’s start doing the signs and tapping, and the bill of the hat,
and all over the body. And then before every game, you’re told what the indicator sign
is, and so that day, let’s say for example, it was the belt, and he would tap, tap, tap,
tap, tap, bill of the hat, and I would have to watch
for him to touch the belt, the indicator, and then I
knew whatever he touched next was gonna be the signs, so maybe
the steal would be the leg. So he’s giving me all the
signals and I’m on first base, and I’m nervous, and I can’t tell. He’s going too fast. I get so flustered I can’t even remember what the indicator sign is, and he’s tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, and he’d look, hmm. (audience laughs) And I’d look from first base back over to Coach Duras and I’m kind of like, hmm? (audience laughs) And so he goes through tap,
tap, tap, tap, tapping again. More vehemently, and I’m
looking and he’s mm, mm, hmm? (audience laughs) and again, I’m … (audience laughs)
I don’t know. So I had that moment,
the existential moment as much as it can be for a baseball player where I just thought to
myself, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Here’s the deal: we are losing this game. (audience laughs)
So I have got to do something. So I’m going through in my mind for the scientists in the audience I’m going through my version
of type 1 versus type 2 error. Maybe he’s giving me the sign
and if I don’t do something, but if he’s not giving me
the sign and then I do it, how mad is he gonna be? And I finally said, it doesn’t matter. I’ve got to do something. We are not gonna win
unless I do something. And so on the next pitch,
I take off and I just steal second base. I decided I’m gonna go for it. I have to do something to just sort of make something happen and get a little offense going. So at that point I think
the pitcher and the catcher are so flustered that the
pitcher had just walked somebody. They don’t know what’s going on with this crazy guy on first base, he’s now stealing second. The catcher throws the
ball down to second base, and it’s an errant throw that goes by, so I could run and I
slide in and pop back up and I’m like, that ball
is four or five feet away from second base, I can steal third. (audience laughs) So I keep going, I steal third base. I successfully stole third base. So now I’m on third base standing two feet away from my coach. (audience laughs) But we have the opposing
team’s third baseman and the opposing team’s
dugout’s right there, so he can’t say anything to me ’cause they can hear everything. He’s just looking at me shaking his head. (audience laughs) Shaking his head, and I knew that, okay, that wasn’t what he was signaling. (audience laughs) And by now, the pitcher is so flummoxed he pitches and throws a pass ball, which is just a few feet
away from the catcher and I decided I’m going for it. So I stole home, successfully stole home. So I was able to manufacture
offense out of thin air. (audience laughs) Just because I couldn’t
remember the indicator signal. It all worked out. So I learned many, many lessons in sports. That’s just one. But that was an important lesson for me. Those are the kinds of moments in life that I think have caused
me to be optimistic, or maybe I was before, I don’t know. But I tend to be more optimistic, definitely more entrepreneurial, and I learned that sometimes in what seems to be dire straits or
certainly not a good situation, being down like we were in that game, that sometimes you’ve just
gotta make things happen. And you’ve gotta create things at times seemingly out of nothing
to make things happen. It’s been who I am
throughout my academic career and in the leadership
positions that I’m in. And it was one of the things
that attracted me so much to Claremont Graduate University. I think of CGU as that nimble, creative, entrepreneurial kind of university that I wanna be associated with, and I feel that I am and that
I want to be associated with. I’ve been in jobs where I’ve had to manage large organizations, for
example, together back at UNLV where sometimes it felt
like turning a battleship, or maybe even a whole
battle group just to try to get something done,
to get something changed. And here it’s different. We are nimble and creative
and externally facing, and entrepreneurial, and
it’s great to be here to be a part of it. We did spend the first hundred
days-plus, who’s counting>On a listening tour and I
got to meet people on campus, on the other campuses, in the community, met with the mayor and the city manager. Jennifer and I went on
a Heritage Society walk around the campuses early on
when I got here in the summer. And then kind of radiating
out with alumni and donors and board members throughout
Southern California, last week out to New
York and Washington, DC, and then in the spring we’ll
be out visiting alumni in Asia. I learned a lot from listening to people. And the only thing I
wanted to share from that is not so much the content
of what I learned from people but more the emotion that I felt, the feelings that I could
sense among the people that I spoke with and there clearly is, both on campus and off, a sense of excitement around
CGU, a sense of optimism, a sense that we’ve had pretty good days and things are pretty good now, but we have better days ahead, that the best days are yet to come. And I met a lot of people off campus and on the other campuses
that are very anxious to partner with us and to
work with us on this journey and that is very exciting. From that, you can start
to see if you think ahead what a future CGU looks like. That is definitely starting to
emerge I think for all of us. And as I look down the road, not just 20 years or 10 or even think seven years ahead, in seven years this university will be
celebrating its centennial. Think about that. Think about James Blaisdell in 1925, Pomona starting to do
graduate work and decides maybe we ought to put that out, let it do it on its own. And so the precursor to
CGU was created in 1925. In seven years we’ll hit
the hundred-year mark from that beginning for this institution. And I even just think ahead seven years at the rate of progress and development for all of these institutions, what it might look like then and as I look ahead, I see
a CGU that is still focused fundamentally on an
excellent student experience, great student outcomes, but maybe with now the right balance around a
blended learning experience, taking advantage of all
the things that technology does for us in terms of its
impact on teaching and learning. I think I definitely see
a university that still pursues excellence,
that it’s about quality. And about each of the things that we do, them being the best in class
in the field that they’re in. I definitely see that still being there. And definitely with the strands
around transdisciplinarity and around applied teaching and learning. I think those have been hallmarks and will still be there as we go forward. I like to think of it as both
the students and the faculty, transdisciplinary to me, for
both students and faculty is about learning without limits, learning without borders,
learning without boundaries. I think that definitely
still has to be there. I definitely see in the
DNA for us going forward the servant-leadership
model that speakers spoke of and Jeanne highlighted in particular. Service to others, serving
groups that are disadvantaged or vulnerable or challenged, underserved, I think that is in the DNA now. It needs to be going forward for sure. I see us being even more
externally facing than we are now. A great partner within the consortium, and a great partner around the region, if not around the country and the world. I think about what happened
recently with the voting you might have read about some
voters being disenfranchised in North Dakota because
they didn’t have addresses. We had a team of faculty in
a couple of different areas of our university, Jeanne
and I think it was Brian out of information systems,
used the geographic information systems techniques from the information systems school, they did a mapping of that reservation to be able to assign addresses so that those people could vote. That actually was all set up. There was a challenge to it. The state attorney general decides, well, these are legit
addresses; they’re gonna vote. That happened, that was made possible by a couple of faculty here at CGU. (audience applauds)
It’s a great example. A great example of
transdisciplinary applied service to others, impact on
others, real-world impact. And I see us doing even more of that to be successful at CGU going forward. The universities around the country that are struggling right now, and some are going bankrupt,
tend to be universities that are insular, they’re looking inward. They’re talking to each other. They’re not talking
externally to stakeholders about what their needs
are and how the services can be better provided, so
I definitely see a strong, externally facing,
problem-solving CGU going forward. And there are some incredible
opportunities for us. I’ll just mention two quickly. Stig and the presidents, the consortiums talking about moving
the bookstore services out to another location. They’d asked if we
would like to take over. The Huntley Bookstore, I
can see the little courtyard behind it right there, and we’ve agreed that we will do that in
about 15 months or so, that we’ll step in, and
we would like to have that building and to preserve it. It’s a great design, we’ll
do a little renovations. We’re now starting to dream about what we might do in that building. One idea that’s emerged that
I think is really compelling and if you like the idea
I give credit to Patricia for the idea, if you don’t
like it, it’s my idea. (audience laughs) It’s to put our School of
Community and Global Health is off campus, this would
be a great opportunity to move them on campus
as the anchor tenant. And we do so much around CGU
around health and well-being. And then to invite other
faculty in those areas if they would like to
collaborate in that space, to have it be a space
around health and well-being from a transdisciplinary point of view. And it’s a great, high-demand area. It’s just a perfect opportunity for us. We’ve also got, just north
of the Business School, on the lot on Dartmouth, the empty lot, that’s also kind of a blank
canvas opportunity for us. We’re starting to brainstorm
about what to do with it. The Business School has some
things around entrepreneurship and family and small business, things kind of entrepreneurial in nature they’d like to have over there. They collaborate with our faculty from arts and humanities
around the Sotheby’s program and the Getty Leadership program. So there’s already those
kinds of collaborations and we thought, that might be a nice place for the creative sides of Drucker to join with the creative practices
for the arts and humanities. So we’re thinking more
about what might happen with that space as well, but these are incredible opportunities. Now both of those are
gonna be a heavy lift. We’re not kidding ourselves. I’m thinking of the JFK quote, whether it was him or Ted
Sorensen, whoever wrote the line, but it was the Rice University
speech, we do these things because they’re hard. It’s not because they’re
easy, because they are hard. But these are things that I
think that we can do here. That would take transdisciplinarity to a whole different level for us and it would be very impactful. So for all of these things going forward, we’re going to need your help. Several of the speakers mentioned it and I’m gonna underscore that. We need your help, everyone in this room, and especially our alumni, both here and I know that are
listening on the webstream. This place is worth
investing in and we’re gonna need your investment, both
time, treasure, and talent. And that’s why we decided
that this would not just be a presidential installation
but this is really a community event, a town and gown event. We need all of you working
together, like Tim said. Multa lumina lux una:
Many flames, one light. And that’s the kind of collective action that we need for CGU going forward, all of us carrying the
flame forward together. Let me just close by saying, and I’ll try not to get emotional, I’m driven
by debts that I’m repaying. My family, like I mentioned,
Italian immigrants. Dad’s side from Venice, and
as the mayor and I said, the real name is Giazotto, not Jessup. That got changed when that side
of the family came through. I won’t tell you how I got my first name. He knows, he can tell you later. My mom’s side, from Sicily,
Southern Italy, oil and water. The two families did not get along at all. They come to New York, it’s too cold, so then they go to San Francisco. That’s weather more like
what they’re used to where my mom and dad were born,
and then so on and so forth. My grandparents that made
sacrifices in the late 1800s, leaving very oppressive
conditions in Italy, to eventually land in San Francisco, making sacrifices and changes
for kids and grandkids that they didn’t even have yet. They were doing it for me,
they didn’t even know me. I wasn’t even born yet. My mom and dad weren’t born yet. So I’m paying that debt back. And then I had the baseball opportunity, actually got me into higher ed. I wouldn’t have gone
otherwise if it wasn’t just to play baseball
for a couple of years. Quickly figured out I did a lot better in the classroom than I
did on the ball field. And I just kept going to school, kept getting those nudges along the way, and so I’ve devoted my career to higher ed paying that debt back, and paying debts back in the
past by paying it forward. There’s a quote, one last
thing, by Neil Armstrong, and I’ll leave it on this. I think it also sums up a lot about my philosophy about life. The technical quote was, “I
believe every human being “has a finite number of heartbeats. “I don’t intend to waste any of mine.” So think about that, prophetic
words from an astronaut. “I believe every human being “has a finite number of heartbeats. “And I don’t intend to waste any of mine.” Now, upon some background reading, Josh would appreciate this, the background around
that quote was it actually was a smart aleck quote
and it went more like, this was later in life and
somebody had asked him, well, you just look great,
how do you stay in shape? Do you jog, what do you do? He actually said
technically something like, you know, each one of us in on the Earth with a finite number
of beats in our hearts, and I’ll be damned if I’m
gonna waste mine running up and down the damn street (audience laughs)
was kind of how the quote went to be accurate. That was how that went. But I prefer to accept the more serious interpretation of the quote. And just to say that let’s not waste them. Let’s work together, let’s take to heart the university’s motto,
let’s work together to do things that improve our
lives and the lives of others. Let’s do that together. And if you can just channel
even a little smidge of that effort, that
collective effort towards CGU then I know that we’re gonna be fine. I look forward to building
CGU’s successful future with all of you, so let’s carry
the flame forward together. Thank you. (audience applauds)

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