CPAA President Welcome Remarks
Prepared Remarks by
California Polytechnic State University
2012 FALL CONFERENCE GENERAL SESSION
Monsday, September 10, 2011
Recreation Center Gym
Thank you, Provost Enz Finken.
And President Armstrong, thank you for including the Cal Poly Alumni Association in today's session. It's a privilege.
As the Provost noted, I'm Tom Lebens, president of the Cal Poly Alumni Association. The Association is tasked with representing the interests of Cal Poly's more than 150,000 living alumni.
I had the honor of graduating from Cal Poly in 1989 with a degree in Electronic Engineering. Julie Lebens, my wife, who joins me today, graduated in 1990 with a degree in Business Administration. She and I and our two children are proud to live and work in San Luis Obispo County.
In addition, my mother and father are both proud graduates of Cal Poly, and my father spent most of his career working here at the University.
I mention these personal details to give you a sense of why I care so deeply about the work that you do as faculty and staff – you are our neighbors, friends, coaches, youth leaders and community volunteers. You have a tremendous social and economic impact on the local community.
I want you to know that the Cal Poly Alumni Association over the past couple of years has undergone a significant reorganization.
I won't bore you with all the details, but suffice to say I believe the Alumni Association is well positioned for the future.
We know that private contributions will be an even greater need for Cal Poly because the State of California has, sadly, broken its commitment to public education.
I am confident that as you develop plans for the next comprehensive capital campaign, you will see an alumni base that understands the need, and the obligation, to invest in Cal Poly, by giving back to the University.
If I could be so bold as to make a request of you, and this stems from my personal interest in technology. Last spring, the President's Cabinet held an interesting series of panel discussions about leveraging technology to enhance the delivery of instruction.
Here's my request: Please put Cal Poly into the vanguard of leveraging technology in the classroom. I would dearly love to see my alma mater be the world-leading innovator in classroom technology, and, in this way, strengthen our Learn by Doing philosophy.
And speaking of Learn by Doing. I suspect as faculty and staff that you get tired of hearing the phrase Learn by Doing, that you worry that the words themselves might not convey the proper intellectual heft.
Relax. The words are a golden rule all by themselves.
When I was a student, you made Learn by Doing very real for me, and the principles of Learn by Doing remain a driving force in my life. All the alumni I talk to say the same.
Let me close by saying that I couldn't be more grateful to the many faculty and staff who were not merely kind, courteous, and enlightening to me as a student, but truly inspiring. I only wish I could go to Cal Poly all over again.
Thank you so very much, and on behalf of Cal Poly's family of 150,000 fans of Learn by Doing, here's wishing you a great year ahead.