In his 2016 Fall Convocation remarks, Willie J. Hagan, president of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), says he sees a “bright future” for the university, or what he called the “Magic Kingdom.”
“I know it is Disneyland’s tagline, but it is appropriate because magic does happen on this campus every day. It happens in our classrooms, communities, and in the minds of our students,” said Hagan.
It also happens in our minds as we reflect on why we are here and what we do.”
Hagan also shared his enthusiasm about new projects on campus and how “in demand” the university has become in recent years with enrollment applications and admissions, philanthropic support, and the university’s overall reputation at an “all-time high.”
“There is a strong correlation between the amount of money we receive and the number of faculty and staff we can hire, the number of classes and programs that we can offer, and the level of support we can provide our students,” Hagan said. “But demands for new community partnerships are received almost weekly, and the demand for programs and support services for our students to help them graduate are also at an all-time high.”
Convocation emcee Jim Hill, professor of physics and chair of CSUDH’s Academic Senate, and Associated Students, Inc. President Jordan Sylvestre also spoke during convocation.
Sylvestre focused on the CSUDH campus community, its interactions, and the importance of unity.
“It’s about how we treat each other, how we talk to each other, even how we choose to challenge each other—student to student, student to staff, faculty to administrator, and so on. This creates the heart of our campus, and together we make Cal State Dominguez Hills flow,” said Sylvestre, who spoke on behalf of the student body. “We simply need to continue to be together, and to be unified. …We should appreciate the fact that we all have something to offer each other at this university. This is the heart of Cal State Dominguez Hills, and happiness will be our own.”
Three videos were shown during convocation, which provided the audience an inspiring look at CSUDH research programs and organizations that have been very successful on and off campus, such as the Male Success Alliance, and the Orthotics and Prosthetics program. The marketing videos were created by the Office of University Communications and Public Affairs for the Division of Student Affairs.
“These videos shine a spotlight on some of the unique opportunities that our students can take advantage of here at Cal State Dominguez Hills,” said Hill, who spoke on behalf of the Academic Senate. “They show the groundbreaking research they’re doing with faculty and alumni, high-impact internship experiences, and just unparalleled community support for the communities that we serve. These groups and organizations on campus are designed to help you all succeed, and are just a few of the exceptional stories that we hope to highlight the coming year.”
During his remarks, Hagan also addressed unique challenges that he believes the university community will need to address this year in regards to the continuing violence and intolerance being displayed across the nation.
“There are challenges that we see playing out across the country, in presidential campaigns, on the streets of America, on college campuses, and in our communities. …Our challenge is to hold fast to the broader perspective of education in the face of what I feel is growing intolerance, and in some cases I would call self-righteous and intransigent intolerance,” said Hagan.
“We must continue as a community that practices inclusiveness and respect, and that challenges and corrects ourselves when we do not. We need to listen to each other through the filter of empathy, not judgment,” Hagan added. “We must continue to have discussions on campus of local and national importance. …I have no doubt that this is a challenge that Cal State Dominguez Hills is in a position to embrace, and to successfully achieve.”