An invitation to the city and campus from CSUC President Paul Zingg

Photo By Tom Angel

Zingg’s the thing: Paul Zingg was named Chico State University’s new president in 2003. He came to the campus from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and his academic interests range from First Amendment issues to baseball history.

On behalf of the faculty and staff of Chico State University, I am pleased to welcome our new students!

You are about to start one of the most important and exciting journeys of your entire life. But, rest assured, you will be doing so in the company of an extraordinary assembly of teachers, scholars, advisers, coaches and staff who only want one thing—your success.

Success will be defined in many ways while you are with us—grades, leadership positions, athletic achievements, creativity in the arts, service to others, degree attainment and employment upon graduation, to name a few. But I hope you are most successful along the pathways of self-discovery. For this is the essence of education, and the discoveries you will make about your values and character are every bit as important as those you will discover about your intellect and interests.

I encourage you, in particular, to try a little daring. Dare to take a course about which you know very little, just to see what it will reveal. Dare to join an organization that is focused on service to others, just to experience the satisfaction of giving. Dare to explore a foreign culture, just to get outside of your own comfort zone. Dare to help your roommate behave responsibly at a party, just to be a good friend. Dare to involve your parents in your work, just to tell them that you love them.

And dare to treat the city of Chico respectfully, just to be a good guest and neighbor.

The city of Chico and the university are inextricably bound to each other. This is the only true campus town in the entire state of California. City and university share elements of the natural beauty of the area—Bidwell Park, tree-lined walkways and gardens, crystal-clear creeks, grand views of the distant Sierra and Pacific coastal range—as completely as they do their history. For Chico State’s original eight acres were a cherry orchard given by the founder of the town to establish a normal school that eventually became the university. Perhaps most important, both the city and the university share the same purpose and dream—to build a highly livable community of opportunity and prosperity.

Placed above the entrance to Kendall Hall is the university’s motto, “Today decides tomorrow.” As solid as the stone in which these words are engraved, this message reminds us that we build our future on the actions we take and the choices we make now.

As you start out with us—university and city—I hope that you will establish a foundation for confidence in your abilities, tolerance in your attitudes and generosity in your actions. For if that is the case, we will all be richer for the time you spend with us.

So, again, welcome. Chico—university and city—look forward to the pleasure of your company.