» Aims of Education

Each year one of Chapman’s distinguished faculty members shares their thoughts and reflections on the aims of education during the Convocation ceremony. This annual tradition commenced in 1994 with an address by Chapman President James L. Doti. The speeches have covered a variety of topics over the years. Some share personal stories and astute wisdom while others invoke great educators of the past, but all of them convey unbounded joy at the prospect of discovering and guiding the promise that each new class of students holds at their fingertips.

photo of Reginald Gilyard, Ph.D.
Reginald Gilyard, Ph.D.
2016-2017
“The importance of self-reliance goes well beyond discussions of money. With self-reliance comes independent thought.”
photo of Jennifer Funk, Ph.D.
Jennifer Funk, Ph.D.
2015-2016
“Embrace your fears, take chances, broaden your path. I promise you the outcome can’t be worse than finding yourself face-to-face with a polar bear.”
photo of Don  Cardinal, Ph.D.
Don Cardinal, Ph.D.
2014-2015
"Education can be more powerful than a bullet, and the lack of education can be more devastating than a bomb. It must not be taken for granted and it must be defended and promoted for all."
photo of Richard  Bausch, MFA
Richard Bausch, MFA
2013-2014
"Real education is something you take up, not as a means to make a living, but as a habit of being through a lifetime."
photo of Tom  Campbell, JD, Ph.D.
Tom Campbell, JD, Ph.D.
2012-2013
"You, as students, and I, as a teacher, have been given a precious gift—the blessing of education. My sincerest good wishes for your using that gift to achieve tremendous happiness for yourselves, and those whose lives you touch."
photo of Anna  Leahy, Ph.D.
Anna Leahy, Ph.D.
2011-2012
"Education leads us out of our childhoods, out of the homes we have known, out of habits into which we may have settled."
photo of Roberta  Lessor, Ph.D.
Roberta Lessor, Ph.D.
2010-2011
"From where or whence does our capacity for innovation and creativity come, and why in some moments of history rather than others?" These are but a few big questions that, in one way or another, you will ask, contemplate and perhaps even answer here at Chapman. And in doing so, the character of what you have to offer and achieve as you move on will be markedly enhanced."
photo of Yakir  Aharonov, Ph.D.
Yakir Aharonov, Ph.D.
2009-2010
"I discovered that the best way to approach my studies was to create my own personal projects and questions that fascinated me the most. I would then use all the knowledge that I acquired in order to solve these personal projects and questions. I was interested not so much in studying the facts, but in studying what it meant to understand in the first place."
photo of Vernon  Smith, Ph.D.
Vernon L. Smith, Ph.D.
2008-2009
"That what is important is not what you know, but what you can do with what you know that brings magic to your personal experience of enquiry. What is magical about research is the discovery it engenders."
photo of Jennifer  Keene, Ph.D.
Jennifer Keene, Ph.D.
2006-2007
"You are intelligent and inquisitive people, and I am sure that many examples of how inspired action can initiate a movement or bring an issue to the public consciousness."
photo of Daniele  Struppa, Ph.D.
Daniele Struppa, Ph.D.
2005-2006
"This, in my opinion, is what the liberal arts are: a constant search for the universal unifying principle. This is the content of the conversation that we initiated almost 2,500 years ago, and which has no end."
photo of Harry  Hamilton, Ph.D.
Harry Hamilton, Ph.D.
2004-2005
"Education seeks to have you control your life to the greatest extent possible by asking questions rather than merely accepting the information someone else wants to supply to you."