Zelezny’s first investiture week event celebrates sustainability


Amy Pachla

Members of the Tejon Indian Tribe, including Chief Kathryn Montes Morgan (center) presented CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny with a ceremonial shawl and smudging basket at the Stewards of the Land Celebration on April 27, 2019. The event was part of Zelezny’s investiture week activities.

Amy Pachla, Reporter

On Saturday, April 27, CSU Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny welcomed members of the Tejon Indian Tribe and people from the community to Alumni Park on campus as part of her Investiture Week activities.

The event, sponsored by Valley Children’s Healthcare, focused on environmental awareness and practical sustainability. Members of the Tejon Indian Tribe presented Zelezny with a ceremonial shawl and performed a dance in colorful regalia at a Stewards of the Land Celebration.

Investiture is a ceremony officially recognizing the transfer of trust to a person taking official authority over an academic institution. President Zelezny will be formally invested as president of the university on Friday, May 3. The Stewards of the Land Celebration is one of several events Zelezny has planned for her investiture week.

Making CSUB an environmentally sustainable campus is one of Zelezny’s many initiatives, and CSUB Director of Events Elizabeth Fergon took the opportunity to theme the event around sustainability.

“This event we’re kicking off because sustainability and beautification is very important to her… so this is kind of that ‘Let’s show what we are doing for the university and for the community with our sustainable practices,” said Fergon.

The zero-waste event featured educational posters about the impact of plastic waste on our waterways, and information about options like recycling and composting. Even the decorations were sustainable. The tables held tiny potted succulent plants which the guests were invited to take for their own homes and gardens.

President Zelezny is optimistic and enthusiastic about the future of environmental sustainability at CSUB, and expresses her belief that the campus community will continue to work together for a cleaner future.

“We’re thinking about, of course, moving forward in the development of our land in very responsible ways and thinking about being good stewards of that land. And of course, we love the focus on our Edible Garden and how we might leverage and expand those efforts. More importantly, as we think about buildings on this campus. We have a new innovation building, and we will be innovatively thinking about it also being a sustainable building,” said Zelezny.