After 14 years of distinguished leadership here at CSU Bakersfield, President Horace Mitchell will be enjoying his retirement.
Students and Faculty came to honor the legacy that Mitchell left on campus.
Mitchell has helped the university grow in many ways. Under his direction, enrollment and graduation rates have reached new heights.
“Our philosophy here has always been that since our community has a college going rate that is about half of the state average, we do not want to turn away students in this community. We want more students to be prepared to be here. We are over enrolled here, we have more students than our state funding will provide for. This is our commitment is to serve our community and our students here- I am sure that will continue to be the case.”
Mitchell has also facilitated the expansion of several departments, including the engineering departments. Aside from this, Mitchell facilitated the transition from quarters to semester and oversaw the university’s transition to NCAA Division I athletics.
The campus pulled out all stops to celebrate Mitchell. The jazz club performed a few sets while those in attendance enjoyed a multicultural spread of food in honor of CSUB’s diversity.
In addition, several groups came out to perform. The African Student Association did a couple performances in Horace’s Honor. Chidi Njoku, a senior biology major and a member of the club, reflected on the president’s farewell.
“It was an honor to be able to perform with my club members at president Mitchell’s farewell dinner. Although he will not be handing me my degree when it’s time for me to graduate, I’m grateful he was able to see me do what I love most.”
Children from the care center also came and performed a song for the ceremony.
Mitchells address to the campus was heartfelt. He expressed gratitude for the support the community has given him and his wife since they joined the campus. Mitchell and the First lady will be celebrating 52 years of marriage together, a success he credits to her.
Elaine Jennings, a sophomore business administration major, appreciated Mitchell and his wife’s contributions to the school “From what I understand, he was really involved with the honors program. He and his wife sponsored study abroad and provided scholarships- that was really nice that he ushered options and opportunities we wouldn’t have had without him.”
Students were sad to see Mitchell leave. Victoria Vargas, a senior criminal justice major, expressed her sentiment and found solace.
“It’s hard to see him go because he was so personable- its really special when faculty seem to care about their campus and that’s something that will be missed. I am interested in seeing what our new president has to bring to CSUB.”
The CSU Board of Trustees has appointed Lynnette Zelezny, as the new president of CSUB, she will be taking the presidency in June.