Fresno State Talks – Honora Chapman, “Eureka”

[ Applause ]>>Dr. Honora Chapman: Corey, thank you so
much and thank you Tamar and Andrew and Breanne and all the members of USU Productions and
all the students out there as well as the community members. In order to give this auguste inauguration
of a Talk Series the right flavor, I need to get into costume. It’s all about this. All right, okay. [ Applause ] It works. Now I’m going to switch. Hello, you can hear me. Okay, excellent. Good evening and welcome. The topic tonight of course is Eureka and
you’re going to learn what that means and hopefully you’re going to discover a little
bit about yourself. Okay, anyone know where that’s from, besides
California? It’s Sacramento, it’s the capital. It is a stained glass window depicting the
great seal of the State of California and you see the motto of California right there. Eureka, we are the Eureka State, 31 stars
because we were the 31st state allowed into the Union, the goddess Minerva, Athena who
sprung from the head of Zeus or Jupiter and that is because we were never a territory. We went from being a place that was Mexican,
it was part of Mexico, to becoming straight a state after the war of the Mexican-American
War and the subsequent treaty. Then you have the boats on what is either
the river Sacramento River or the Bay of San Francisco and of course, the miner which is
where the word Eureka probably emanates. But you also have the grisly bear and what
you can’t see is the stalk of wheat because you probably don’t realize we grew a ton of
wheat here in the 1850s and 60s but it’s not happening much these days and then there are
grapes as well. This is the California that you live and study
in and this is the California that is provided you the opportunity to discover what you want
to do with you lives. This is the Eureka State. Now, where do we get that phrase though? Eureka is really the Greek Heureka. Heureka means, I have discovered it and it
is ancient Greek. It’s the first person singular, perfect active
indicative of the verb Heurisko and that’s what I teach, so, but it’s more than that. This hat is annoying me, excuse me. It’s more than that because it is in fact
Heureka, what did that do? I have no idea, there. Excuse me. Eureka exactly, Archimedes said it. Anyone know who Archimedes was? He was the greatest, ancient, scientist and
mathematician. He said, “I found it” according to the Vitruvius,
because he found the displacement of his body in the bathtub and he was so excited by this
discovery of the difference in mass once he got into the bathtub and the water ran out,
that he got up out of the bathtub and ran naked through the streets of Syracuse screaming,
“I found it, Eureka. Heureka.” And that’s what I’m hoping you will do except
for the nakedness part. You will discover what you want to do with
your lives and you will go ahead and do it. Now he did amazing things besides discovering
that. He helped the ruler of Syracuse discover that
a craftsman had gypped him in the amount of gold in his gold crown. And he discovered the value of Pi which you
might regret in your math classes. And he manufactured the Claw. The Claw was this device that he could stretch
out over the water and lift up Roman ships and dump them, sprinkling the men out of them. And that’s just like Buzz Lightyear being
grabbed by the claw which you can barely see. It was Archimedes who developed that. He was the man who invented it. The Roman’s however, wanted to capture him
in order to find out more about his science but unfortunately the soldier killed him before
they got to the bottom of his science. Many hundreds of years later, people started
reading his manuscripts and they understood more about spheres and the measurements of
such objects and that is where we really get the basis of modern mathematical discoveries. Now another part of Greek Wisdom is the wisdom
that comes from philosophy, not just from mathematics and science. And the greatest teacher of all was Socrates
and Socrates was not a professional teacher. He didn’t earn a living doing it, he was a
stonemason. He probably helped build some of those ruins
that people visit in Athens these days. He was a normal citizen craftsman but he went
around town and he asked young people annoying questions. And one of those young people was a man named
Euthydemus a young man. He was also known as Ho Ku Klos [phonetic]
because he was really good looking. And he said “Euthydemus, tell me, Have you
ever gone to Delphi?” Delphi is this gorgeous place in Central Greece
not too far from Athens and Euthydemus consequently said, “Yes, twice.” “Then did you notice somewhere on the temple
the inscription know yourself, gnothi sauton?””I did.” “And did you pay no heed to the inscription
or did you attend to it and try to consider who you were?” “Indeed, I did not. Because I felt sure that I knew that already
for I could hardly know anything else if I didn’t even know myself.” Euthydemus thinks he’s got it all figured
out. He’s about 18 years old and he is famous in
Athens for owning a bunch of books and claiming that he can teach himself by reading books. What Socrates tells him is you need a teacher. You need someone to help you. And that’s of course, why so many of you are
in school because you want to learn from people who can help you see the light. So Socrates goes off on this long rather boring
analogy with horses and you can read it for yourself about when you choose horses, does
a teenager really seem to know himself who knows his own name merely or he who, like
people buying horses, who do not think that they know the horse that they want to know
until they have ascertained whether he is tractable or unruly, whether he is strong
or weak, swift or slow and how he is as to other points which are serviceable or disadvantageous
in the use of a horse so he–you noticed you feel asleep, right. And Euthydemus, he does this to all his students. He keeps creating these analogies and trying
to beat you with words until you submit and the students always do basically and he continues
having ascertained with regard to himself how he is adapted for the service of mankind
knows his own abilities. “It appears to me” says Euthydemus, “I must
confess that he who does not know his own abilities, does not know himself.” And the point Socrates is trying to make is
that Euthydemus actually doesn’t know his own abilities and that’s what Socrates wants
to teach him and that’s hopefully what you will have as an experience in college and
beyond. Socrates says to him, “Isn’t it evident that
men enjoy a great number of blessings in consequence of knowing themselves and incur a great number
of evils through being deceived in themselves for they know, they who know themselves know
what is suitable for them and distinguish between what they can do and what they can’t. His point is you shouldn’t fool yourself. You need to figure out what it is that makes
you happy in terms of what you can do best and consequently, you will lead a happier
life, a more fortunate life. From my own experience, I tried to know myself
by thinking about what I don’t know which usually involves technology, like right now. I really did have a career in Silicon Valley
at one point as a tester. They would give me software and I would perpetually
not know what to do. And I was invaluable to this company actually
because I was a contractor as a grad student and I would sit down with the manual and say,
“I have no idea how to use this product.” And that was something I knew about myself. I am scared of technology, partially because
of my parents but at the same time I appreciate it and I appreciate people who can use it. And that’s what you have to figure out about
yourself. You have to figure it out. But the question is how? How do you figure out what to do with yourself? And a very wise philosopher who is not Socrates
said, “Do you not know that in the race all the runners run but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” In order to get the prize as St. Paul says,
“You’ve got to run like you have a purpose and you want to win.” These are students who are running on the
stadium at Delphi. Delphi was a sanctuary of Apollo where people
met every few years to have games like at Olympia and today you can do that. Stadium is not a place. It’s a distance, 600 feet. This man ran the race. Do you remember him from the Olympics, Stephen
Kiprotich of Uganda? He was supposed to lose but he surpassed the
Kenyan runners at the 38th kilometer and he made the finish line first. Lots of us here tonight were not the frontrunners
because for whatever reason we weren’t expected to be the winners but if you keep working
hard, like Kiprotich, you too can succeed. My theory is you have to just keep the pace. You have to not give up. You have to set your goals and figure out
what you do best and then by all means do it. But the thing is that it takes steps and by
saying keep the pace, what I mean is you have to keep in mind four different elements. And these four elements are ones that we will
spell out and because this is getting too academic, I am in fact going to start a game
with you and I hope you enjoy it and Andrew is going to help me with it. The first letter is P. What do you think P
fills out for? If you’re going to win, what do you think
you need?>>[Multiple speakers]>>Persistence, perseverance, patience, passion,
I heard it down here. Passion, passion there was another passion,
Juan, well done. I did not tell Juan. Perseverance is true but passion is what lights
you up. It’s what makes you want to do something even
when it’s really hard. Now, why I do what I do is not because of
any magic, it’s because of my family. And so I show you these strangely quaint,
old photos because people like Sister Mary Ephrem and you have to love Catholic education
because they give the Nun’s both women’s and men’s names, Sister Mary Ephrem. She inspired my older sister Connie who was
actually the second, Vickie was the first and then Angela and there’s me, unhappy because
that’s an itchy dress. And Connie you can see on her graduation day
from 8th grade is happy though she regrets that hairdo today when I showed her the photo
and she and my older sister, Vickie were extremely important for me because they showed me that
academic excellence really, really matter. My sister Angela however, showed me that perseverance
in the sense of not giving up is extraordinarily important and she also was an amazing athlete
which I learned to try to emulate but never quite as successfully. And then that’s me standing next to my little
brothers at Christmas time. Do you see what I have on my shirt? It’s not what you expect. It’s the Playboy Bunny. Now, why do I have this? Because we went to the beach and I said I
wanted a shirt of the Easter Bunny and my next lesson is my mother, God Bless her, she
tried to talk me out of it and I refused. I was persistent and finally she gave in she
was bored by the argument and she let me wear that for two and a half years. I went around the neighborhood. I went to the store wearing that. She had an amazing sense of humor. She could walk with a straight face into a
grocery store with me wearing that. That’s my mom and that’s my dad who is an
extraordinary person. He loved all eight of us. He was always there talking to us on the weekends
and that’s the baby Octavia. He also had a sense of humor. He named her number eight because she was. One thing that they taught us by virtue of
being taught by their parents was that education deeply mattered. My dad’s mother went to Berkley when it looked
like this at the turn of the century but because she met my grandfather in Merced and she thought
he was so handsome, she decided to leave Berkeley and go to the California State Normal School
at San Jose in order to get her teaching credential because she wanted to get married sooner. I don’t recommend that automatically, but
what I would say is that you have to know her instinct was she was a teacher and that
is what most of us became in our family. My grandfather however, was a rancher and
what my father instilled in us was that this land, this central valley really is precious. Chowchilla, which people make fun of now was
a town that my grandmother turned the first spade of earth for it. It was the gateway to one hundred and eight
thousand acres of opportunity for a colony. It was a place where people were going to
build lives and my mother married my dad because she saw the courthouse in Merced and thought
okay I can leave L.A. for that, seriously. And my passion is finally my immediate family,
my son Will and my husband Bill Scuben [assumed spelling] who is not here tonight because
he is teaching. He teaches grad classes and he could not miss
his class because that’s how much he respects his graduate students that he couldn’t bail
out on them. I show you this because my great grandfather
was an immigrant from that incredibly poor village Corte Clarian, West Ireland where
they basically starved to death. His mother finally died and he came to the
United States and what would have blown his mind is that I returned to that country and
I was invited to be a scholar in a country at a university, Trinity in Dublin where he
wasn’t even allowed to go because he was the wrong religion. And you see what America gave all of our families
was opportunity and that’s the miracle of this place. What I discovered in high school was that
I loved Latin and that’s what I teach now at Fresno State along with Greek. I did four years of it with a Nun with another
girl boy name, Sister Mary Wilfrid Your [phonetic] and she used to take us to the Getty Museum
every year and we would look at all the beautiful antiquities and then she would take us to
the beach in full Nun habit and we would sit on the beach and eat a picnic, it was amazing. Nuns do swim in those habits. Okay, but why I love Rome so much is I studied
there as an undergraduate and I’m going to return to this theme. And I also saw a movie called [foreign language]
but it was not really that movie that you know. You know the movie by Raiders of the Lost
Ark. The first time I ever saw it was in Italian
and I didn’t understand two-thirds of it but I thought that archeology was cool and I love
ancient monuments because when I walk through them it allows me to imagine what was going
on and that’s really what I love doing with the students in my classes. I like to imagine why the past matters nowadays. And I studied in Florence where I learned
about beautiful art and architecture and beautiful literature written in the Italian language
like Boccaccio’s “Decameron” but most importantly, when I got back, I went to my classes at Stanford
and I met a women name Sabina McCormick who had come into class like this. She would swoop in like this and her hair
would be like this say, “Good morning.” And the first day we saw her in Byzantine
History Class there were only five of us and we looked at each other like what is this? She was a brand new professor and she came
and lit a fire under all of us. All five of us got a doctorate in ancient
studies because of her. She spoke with this amazing knowledge and
she was really in many respects a salvation, a form of [foreign language] for us because
she showed us that the life of the mind matters. It matters so deeply that you should have
weird piles of books all over your house. And you should wake up with a stack of books
next to your bed and you should tape vocabulary lists of Quechua on your bathroom mirror because
you want to understand the Incas so badly that you will learn their language even while
you brush your teeth. That was Sabina McCormick. And when I was studying in Ireland, I learned
that she died and most miraculously, she died in her garden. And she taught us that the garden, of course,
is the place of paradise in all sorts of literature most importantly, St. Augustine with whom
I read the text with Sabina in Latin because she would order giant books in Latin and say,
“You know, look at Chapter 5.” And I’m like, “Oh my God.” So that was Sabina. She was a genius but she was extremely humane
and she loved her students. And that’s how I discovered that I love things
like reading Greek and I love reading it with a precision that however makes this gibberish
over here that is written the way I text messages on my telephone with no spaces, that you used
to be able to transcribe it and translate it and that’s what I think is important that
we make things accessible and available to everybody. But it was Sabina who taught me that what
I should really look into is the existence of Jews in Ancient Rome in the First Century
A.D. and to look at an author, Josephus, who had really never been examined before in my
field of classics because he was Jewish. And she said you can do this dissertation
and lots of people said it is an inappropriate topic but I was so fascinated by the fact
that the Romans had conquered Jerusalem and all of the land of Judea and the north of
there as well. And they brought back all these objects to
Rome which are depicted on the Arch of Titus and then they built an amazing arena and a
scholar discovered three years before I finished my dissertation that that was built with the
booty from the war. That was built with Jewish money, the equivalent
of the amount of money that it took to build the Save Mart Center if you put the money
into modern dollars. They took the temple money of Jerusalem and
built the greatest arena the world has ever seen. They also built an extraordinary Temple of
Peace ironically, named Peace because they thought it was peace to conquer and basically,
destroy places into submission and this author, Josephus, the Jewish Historian whose text
I read in great depth and whose text I will continue to read in great depth in the future
because I have to do another volume. He explains about this temple in depth and
I once saw a picture of this glass, it’s the bottom of a drinking glass that was smooched
into a wall in a catacomb marking a grave and there’s only one in existence, though
archeologist found two of them and what I realized is by looking at this and mapping
it to the archeologist’s plan of the Temple of Peace, I was able to prove that the objects
from Jerusalem such as the Menorah and other Golden Vessels were still in Rome in the 4th
Century and that it was not a myth that the Vandals or the Goths and then the Vandals
had possession of those objects in late antiquity, the period that Sabina taught me. All of this is the long way of saying to you
guys, listen to your professor, sometimes they tell you something really important and
they can lead you down a path that you weren’t thinking of until they said it. And you take that ball and you run with it
like these guys, like the baseball players. You have to ask yourself, what would make
you excited enough to jump in a big dog pile like that, to raise a trophy like Derek Carr? You all have that opportunity if you grab
it, if you choose to be that excited about what you’re doing. You have to ask yourself what is your passion? Does this count? I love Fresno State ice cream. Oh, my Lord. I’d argue if you make it. If you’re in the college of Ag and you make
that stuff and you make these wonderful watermelon animals. I teach Greek in the building where there
is constant cooking going on and I want to go eat those cinnamon rolls instead of teach
Greek. We also have passionate artists on this campus
like the creative writer Alex Espinoza whose new novel the Five Acts of Diego Leon is coming
out this April. You have amazing artists to learn from on
this campus. You have clubs you can join like this one
an Industrial Tech where you can look into new forms of energy with a club such as Robert
[inaudible] have done or you can get so involved in your studies of geology like Rachel up
here and Kirstie and Shelby, you can go out there and look at all the formations and give
them all those long Greek terms and love it and carry a large pack. And you can also have fun like Shelby here,
different Shelby. It must be the name for geologists. Shelby Fredrickson is pointing you at California
poppies because while you’re looking for formations in Yosemite, you should definitely stop and
look at how gorgeous it is here. This is a beautiful place and she’s showing
it to you, go see it. It’s covered in snow right now unfortunately. Okay, I put this in because I thought it was
so funny. Her violin is on fire. She doesn’t go here by the way, she’s a random
pick off the web but she plays so darn well, her violin explodes. I took piano for nine years, not great. And that’s the thing. You know, truthfully, I would have loved being
a musician specifically, singing but I’m not a great singer, so what I love is singing
with Anna Hamre in the Chorale when I get a chance. I did it once. She is the best director I’ve ever seen. I sang with the Symphonic Chorus at Stanford. She is amazing and so are the other singers. We have a remarkable marching band and we
have a remarkable orchestra. All of these opportunities for exploring your
art are available at Fresno State, moving on next letter, more T-Shirts. A.>>[Multiple speakers]>>I heard it, it was [foreign language],
achievement, front row. Sorry, you probably said it back there. We should have gotten like 15 T-shirts. Aspiration is also great and it’s part of
the UHS. Okay. This slide has too many words. These are my key pieces of advice about classes
and studying. You need to choose a major based on your passion
and your skills like Socrates said, “You’ve go to do what you do best and you’ve got to
love it.” And so I may love music but I was not a born
music major. You need to figure out what you are best at
and it was my mom who figured out the Latin. As a matter of fact, my high school didn’t
offer Latin and she went to the principal and she said, “My daughter’s going to be a
9th grader, she needs to learn Latin.” And as a joke they started it. And the reason they let it continue was because
Sister Mary Wilfrid Your who was this tall, she was very short, she taught it in her spare
time. She was retired and she taught only two of
us by our senior year and we just kept going. And that was how I figured out that was my
passion. The other thing was I actually visited my
major advisor. I made Sabina my major advisor by the way. She was not assigned to me. I was assigned to someone in the Asian Languages
originally. You need to find an advisor with whom you
can communicate in your field who will help you and even if they aren’t your official
advisor, find a professor who inspires you, who when her or she talks, you say to yourself,
my gosh I wonder if I could be like that person. If you can find that person, talk to that
person. Also pick the right classes. Get some help every semester, don’t do it
in the dark and very importantly, visit office hours because we do hold them once in a while
and we do like to help you because we want you to succeed. We also would really love it if you’d buy
or rent your books because it’s very hard to succeed when you don’t own the books. You also are theoretically, spending 40 to
50 hours a week studying. That is a lot. And somehow you should get eight hours of
sleep at your age. And you aren’t are you? Yeah. And you need to celebrate your success. Celebrating your success can of course, be
going out with your family, having a nice dinner but I would also argue that if someone
invites you to an Honor Society in your field or a National Honor Society, join it, because
these societies stand for integrity like that banner says. They indicate that you’re the kind of person
who really cares about higher learning and about integrity. One thing that all of you can do, even if
you think you aren’t the person who can do it, you can. You need to look out for research opportunities. They can come in the form of working in labs
on campus, helping a professor with a project. Ask a professor you respect, can I help you
with something? Can I go get some books for you? Anything to get your foot in the door. If your field offers internship or service
learning is available anywhere, do it, it will transform your outlook. And if you can, construct a project. It’s so funny because there were no senior
Honor’s Projects or anything in my field when I was in undergraduate but because I had this
mentor Sabina, I went to her and I said, “What should I do?” And she said, “Keep doing what you love doing”
but wouldn’t it be nice to have a conference? And she was the one who seeded in my mind
that we should throw a whole conference about late antiquity and we invited two scholars
from overseas and we raised all the money. It’s what you’ve guys have done. It’s what the USU and student involvement
have done. You create something out of nothing because
you get a good idea and it will inspire you. This is the kind of thing that becomes the
basis of your future success. And when you take advantage of the research
advantages and other opportunities on campus, you have opportunities here that don’t exist
at large research universities because at those schools, they’re so worried about their
graduate students and doctoral programs that often times they overlook the undergraduates. Instead, here at Fresno State, you can get
undergraduate research grants from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and you can consequently
do a great deal with that support and prepare yourself for either graduate school or for
employment. And look at what Dr. Gao has done in Physics. Since 2007, we are the only CSU Campus that
has students going to the ATLAS Experiment of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near
Geneva, Switzerland. This is the team, this whole group of scholars
and there are many, many hundreds of these scholars but here are Fresno State students
involved in this. They were one piece in the puzzle of discovering
the higgs boson on Independence Day last year. That’s what you can do here. Those kinds of opportunities are here. Lucidito Delgado [assumed spelling] was a
student who was told in high school you can’t be an honor student. And she came to Fresno State and she found
her passion was mass common journalism and because she loved it so much she joined the
Arts and Humanities Honors program and she created motivite [phonetic] out of whole cloth
as her project. And it was an amazing celebration of the passion
for success amongst Hispanic students. And she told the news, I feel that every single
person has the capacity to accomplish anything; it’s just that you have to make sacrifices
and you have to do whatever it takes to get that done. No one can say it better not even Socrates. And when you do it and much less boring too,
when you do what she says, you can find yourselves finding jobs because you love what you do
and you can go to graduate school as Lucidito plans to do. And Fresno State students have gone to the
best graduate programs in the country in many fields, not just a couple and that’s what
all of you can aspire to. You have to do your best because he wasn’t
supposed to win and in my mind winning is crossing the finish line and doing it with
vim and vigor, doing it like you mean it. C.>>[Multiple speakers]>>I heard it. I heard it. Yes, courage. All of those were good by the way. I’m not trying to downplay your choices but
courage, courage matters. All that passion and achievement, it’s not
enough because what you have to do is test yourself and take a risk. You need to do things that take you beyond
your comfort zone. We normally think of courage as perhaps a
military value. It’s something you display when you’re on
the battlefield or when you tell your story as a Vet as the War Veterans Project here
at Fresno State under Dr. Gary Rice allows students to learn about. You have these opportunities of Fresno State
to tap into courage in that manner but there’s so many other less celebrated ways such as
taking a harder course of study than you ever imagined like nursing which is beastly, joining
an organization like a Greek organization where it’s really hard to get out of your
shell and show yourself to others and be their sister, that really takes guts. And look at Aldi, oh my Lord, she’s jumped
out of an airplane. I don’t recommend that but I saw it on Facebook
and so I took it. Please don’t do that. Okay, the thing that’s available to everyone
is study abroad. Study abroad allows you to leave the valley,
to leave the United States and go somewhere extraordinary. You can go on CSU International Programs. You can go on USAC. We have a new arrangement with a campus in
Rome. There are many semesters through a variety
of programs on campus and departmental programs as well. You can visit Family Food Sciences 119 to
learn more, department programs such as Armenian Studies. Look at all of them in 2011. Okay. This is the CSU International program in Mexico. It’s hard to believe they study but I believe
they do. There’s Will in Prague the Czech Republic. There are students doing archeology in Rome. You can do this through Fresno State now. There’s Tristen in Berlin in Germany. He studied there with the Craig School. And there’s a mini-semester with the College
of Arts and Humanities that takes you to London and you can visit Stonehenge as well. And you can be in the drizzly rain but that’s
what it’s about in England, right? You live with the people. You eat their food. You learn hopefully, their language if you’re
there long enough and it transforms you. Do you like the globe by the way? If you don’t know where you want to go you
can take the globe and go like this and you can end up choosing North America which would
be boring. Russia would not, Kazakhstan would not be
a good choice. I had a Greek student at Stanford many years
ago who said to me, “I’ve always wanted to see the Silkroute.” And I said, “Okay Ben, go check it out when
you graduate.” Bad idea, he went to the Silkroute but he
ended up in Uzbekistan in jail and he broke out of jail and stole a horse to get away,
don’t do that. I got a postcard about it, don’t do that. Do something good, good for other people. Look at Walid Hamud. He received a Rotary International Scholarship,
went to South Africa and helped set up this wonderful or helped continue with the setting
up of this wonderful home for children who live on the streets. It was call Sinethemba and if you want to
learn more you can contact him through me about how you might help. There’s Raven Kapphahn in Jordan. Raven comes from the Central Valley. She is also a Renaissance Scholar and she
earned an extremely prestigious scholarship which is offered to those who might offer
service to the United States government when they’re done. She would like to become and International
Humanitarian. You can apply to that program.>>[Inaudible]>>I’m going to give you a hint, Jan and Bud
Richter Center. Yes. Good.>>Eureka.>>I like Eureka more. Okay. This is my pitch. You’re all are here tonight because you care
enough about being in large places with others. You should join organizations, ASI. You can represent your college or other entities
on campus like these guys this year. You can join the USU Board. You can get involved in setting up Vintage
Days. You can be a Campus Ambassador. You can do a lot on this campus, that’s last
year not this year, wrong dates. River Tree, you can do a lot of environmental
work on this campus. You can take Political Science classes or
you can simply join and go do it. You can do the work on the San Joaquin that
cleans tons of tires and other debris out of the river every year so that it flows more
easily, so that we have a beautiful river that will eventually become the correct habitat
again. And you can join [foreign language]. You can become a member of anything when you
check it out. So take advantage. There’s a panoply opportunities on this campus. You don’t have to stay with the same club. You also should show school spirit. It’s really important. You should go support people who are playing
amazing basketball right now. Have you been to see them? They’re incredible. That’s another thing I would have loved to
do but I’m not good enough. I loved basketball in high school and I used
to play with the team when I was in undergrad on Sundays because that’s when they would
allow me to go and play sort of like a bumper in the road. But these women are amazing. Go to their games, check it out. The place is rather empty right now, it shouldn’t
be. And you should go to the Farm Market because
we have this amazing bounty and when the corn comes in the people comes out of the woodwork,
don’t go then. But most importantly, you have a pantry right
off campus that needs your help every Friday and Saturday. They need help with packing the bags of food,
distributing the food, they need help with funding for it and you can all participate
in that. The Jan and Bud Richter Center has really
helped promote this kind of community service and she pledges to volunteer more, more often. And look at what ASI did last winter when
they put up that huge kaboom playground at El Dorado Park. That was amazing and that’s what all of you
can participate in over the next couple of years that you’re here at Fresno State. We’ve contributed over a million hours a year
which is pretty darn remarkable. One of us, Daniel Ward has received a National
Award from Campus Compact which was an organization founded in 1985 in order to promote service
on campuses where they didn’t see enough students participating and he received that National
Award and he’s there with his brothers at the pantry on a Friday packing food. You can also, I’m almost begging you, join
the March for Babies on April 20th. We have teams set up for Fresno State. You can start one in your department amongst
your friends or in your clubs and we’re going to march up Woodward Park on April 20th. Why do this matter? Because this little girl right here Mackenzie,
was born really early and what the March of Dimes does is that it gives money towards
research to figure out why mothers give birth too early to prevent prematurity which will
in fact put a huge dent in infant mortality. And infant mortality is predominately caused
by prematurity in the United States and around the world. And therefore, if we do this now we will make
a difference possibly even in your own family. How many of you actually stop and read the
Peace Garden quotes? You see the statues you walk to class, you
kind of ignore them but these really are profound people obviously, such as Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. and Gandhi and Jane Addams and Cesar Chavez. All of them matter. Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself
is to lose yourself in the service of others.” See Socrates said, “You need to find yourself,
figure out your skills.” But what he’s saying is that part of this
Gandhi is saying, “Is that you need to help others and when you help others, you’re going
to become the best you, you’re going to discover yourself.” Interestingly, the original motto of Fresno
State, “Lucem Accipe Ut Reddas”receive the light so that you may give back is really,
really fitting for this campus in part because of the giving back. The big picture though is what you’re going
to do with all of this because you don’t stay at Fresno State forever. You go to graduation hopefully, and then you
have to figure out what to do afterwards. And that’s kind of scary but at the same time
the world’s your oyster if you take advantage of all the opportunities now. If you figure out yourself now, not 10 years
from now and believe me you’re going to figure yourself out anyway 10 years from now but
you will get closer to being happier if you find your passion, if you achieve something
while you’re here. Get much better at what you originally thought
you could do. If you show courage, if you don’t just stay
in a rut, if you actually step out of your comfort zone and get yourself engaged in this
community whether it’s Fresno State or the rest of Fresno itself. I was reading the Governor Brown’s speech,
the State of the State Address because I read a blurb in the Fresno Bee and it sounded interesting
but when I read the actual speech I was astonished because it looked like the new motto of Fresno
State, discovery, diversity, distinction. It’s almost as if he had read our motto because
he says about the State of California, this year Eureka State, this State of Discovery. What is this but the most diverse, creative
and longest standing mass migration in the history of the world? All of us here tonight are part of that, that’s
California. The rest of the country looks to us not for
what’s conventional but for what is necessary, necessary to keep faith with our courageous
forbearers. Whoever came here from somewhere else, it
took a lot of courage to leave home. All of us benefit from their courage. What we’ve done together and what we must
do in the coming years is big but it pales in comparison to the indomitable courage of
those who discovered and each decade thereafter built a more abundant California. That’s why you go to Fresno State. That’s what we’re here for. It’s not just for you so in a way, Socrates
kind of disappoints because he keeps it within the bounds of Euthydemus discovering himself. I would say that what you’re doing here is
bigger and if you keep that passion and if you achieve things and if you show courage
and you get engaged, you can change things for the better. You can make California better which is why
the State invested in you in this education. And when you look at tonight, this was part
of that story of courage and obviously engagement because it’s student involvement who set it
all up and I am very grateful to all of them who have suddenly run away but I’m very grateful
to you because what you’ve done is what other organizations have just talked about it. They’ve talked about it, you did it. And I look forward to the future talks and
I’m very grateful for this opportunity. And I just wondered if anyone had any questions. Real fast I don’t want to prolong the evening. Does anyone have any questions or thoughts?>>Thank you>>Dr. Honora Chapman: That’s enough. [ Applause ]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *