President Hutchinson talks unity at inauguration

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Gayle Hutchinson speaks with those protesting the potential tuition increase outside of her inauguration ceremony. Photo credit: Ben Hacker

George Johnston

Gayle Hutchinson made history when she was inaugurated as the first woman president of Chico State.

Before the inauguration started, students gathered outside Kendall Hall to protest a proposed tuition increase. Hutchinson took a second to speak with the demonstrators and calm their fears.

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Gayle Hutchinson speaks with those protesting the potential tuition increase outside of her inauguration ceremony. Photo credit: Ben Hacker

Dennis Ramirez, chairman of the Mechoopda tribe, blessed the ceremony in his tribe’s language and then in English.

“It’s no longer us and them, it is we,” Ramirez said. “Together we will be united community.”

California State University Chancellor Timothy White along with other top administrators were present at the event.

White praised Chico State as stubbornly optimistic and fearless while also saying Hutchinson was driven by the mission and values of the university. He then awarded Hutchinson the presidential medallion and bestowed upon her the title President of Chico State.

Associated Students President Michael Pratt soon took the stage and pledged to work with Hutchinson.

“Human civilizations are not without challenge. It is courage and perseverance that carry people forward,” Hutchinson said during her speech.

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“Together, we will model an egalitarian campus, a community built upon a collaborative culture,” say the new president of Chico State, Dr. Gayle E. Hutchinson. Photo credit: Ben Hacker

The new president then said an essential part of the Chico experience is the strong relationships between students and faculty. Hutchinson also renewed a promise to continue high quality education for California and the north state.

“Together, we will transform tomorrow!” Hutchinson said in the conclusion of her speech.

After the inauguration of President Hutchinson, Chico State also unveiled a new motto “Together, We Will.”

Debuting on the Chico State Facebook page, the “Together, We Will ” video gives a brief history of the university before students and faculty give pledges of transforming tomorrow and making Chico State a leader in higher education.

“Together, we will take steps forwards,” Hutchinson said in the video. “Letting our words and our actions be a reflection of the truths in our hearts. Knowing full well that we can be more and do more and continue what we started in 1887.”

George Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or @gjohnston786 on Twitter.