California State University, Los Angeles President William A. Covino on Thursday paid tribute to a legacy of excellence and presented a vision for continued success during Fall Convocation 2017.
The president, along with hundreds of guests who filled the Luckman Theatre for the annual event marking the beginning of a new academic year, celebrated the dedication and goodwill that have defined Cal State LA. Founded in 1947, the University is commemorating its 70th anniversary.
Covino began his August 17 address discussing the current political climate and its unsettling affect on higher education across the nation.
“As we mark the start of a new academic year, we are acutely aware of the ways in which national events unsettled our university community last term, driving us to reaffirm our core ideals and ethics,” Covino told the audience. “We meet together today to celebrate the dedication and goodwill that have defined this university for seven decades, to reaffirm our collective mission, with an unrelenting commitment to our students, our colleagues, and our community, and enthusiasm for the future that we are creating together.”
The president added: “Let me be clear about current events. There is no moral equivalency between those who embrace social justice rooted in inclusion, free speech, and equity, and those who perpetuate a legacy of hate, violence, misogyny, bigotry, antisemitism, hostility toward the LGBTQ+ community, and white supremacy. The tragedy in Charlottesville reminds me that those of us in higher education at public universities are here because we have a strong stake in social, economic, and political equity and social justice. That’s what we stand for and that’s what we will continue to stand for.”
Covino welcomed 40 new faculty members, and noted that the University is planning to hire an additional 50 faculty. In his address, Covino thanked emeriti faculty, members of the President’s Council and Alumni Association Board of Directors, as well as faculty and staff members across the University.
At the 2016 Convocation, Covino introduced the Strategic Plan, the University’s roadmap to the future. At Thursday’s event, he explained how every college, division, department and office at Cal State LA is working hard to bring to life the Strategic Plan’s four pillars: Academic Distinction, Welcoming and Inclusive Campus, Engagement, Service, and the Pubic Good, and Student Success.
“Our faculty and staff are passionate, creative, tenacious, and deeply committed to the success of our students,” Covino said.
Photo: Cal State LA President William A. Covino. (Credit: Ty Washington/Cal State LA)