Students, community members, staff and faculty filled the Satellite Student Union Thursday night to hear professor Honora Chapman talk about Discovery — the first lecture of a three part series defining the new university motto: Discovery, Diversity, Distinction.
Chapman led off her presentation with a quote from the Greek philosopher Archimedes: “I have found it!”
She discussed her early discovery of Latin. Chapman said that when she began high school, she found out Latin was not offered as a class option.
“My mother went to the principal and said, ‘My daughter wants to take Latin.’ My mother was instantly laughed at, and they started the program as a joke. I took the courses that were offered, and by my senior year, there were only two of us,” Chapman said.
Chapman highlighted several moments during her college career and emphasized that students should study abroad.
She presented the audience with the acronym PACE. Each time a new letter appeared on the screen, audience members could shout out their best guess for the word representing each letter. Those who guessed correctly won a T-shirt.
It was then revealed that the acronym PACE stood for the words: passion, achievement, courage and encouragement.
“Figure out what you do best and remember to keep the PACE,” said Chapman.
Alexi Kimura, a student in the Smittcamp Family Honors College, had the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica last summer.
“Dr. Chapman definitely influenced my decision to study abroad, and it was the best decision I ever made. It truly reinforced my values in life and because of traveling, I found new interests and changed my major,” Kimura said.
Allegra Chisholm discovered her passion for recreation administration this semester.
“I spent too much time in a major that I did not enjoy. When I became a recreation administration major, I started to enjoy my classes and felt that I had a purpose for being here,” Chisholm said.
Chapman ended with asking the audience if they ever read the quotes on the statues in the peace garden. Then there was silence from the audience, followed by laughter.
“I encourage you to say ‘hi’ to the statues sometime. The statue of Ghandi reads, ‘The best way to find yourself is in the service of others.’ ”
Freshman Carlie Gantar is in the Air Force ROTC program.
“My dad was in the Air Force, and it made me realize how much he loved what he did. I plan to serve as long as I can because it makes me happy. I have found my passion and know who I am. For that, I am forever grateful,” Gantar said.
Fresno State honored Chapman with a plaque and a $500 professional development stipend.
The lecture series continues on Thursday featuring professor T. Hasan Johnson who will discuss diversity and how Fresno influenced hip-hop music.