VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. – Roughly 500 visitors gathered at CSU Channel Islands Friday morning for the investiture of President Richard Yao, a ceremony that gave the campus and community an opportunity to celebrate the formal naming of the university's fourth president and its first president of color.
Yao identifies as Chinese-Filipino American and has already been serving as the university president.
University faculty, administration, and staff wore caps and gowns from their various alma maters for the opening procession.
CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester and former Channel Islands president Erika Beck – who is now president of Cal State Northridge – spoke at the ceremony.
Yao stressed the importance of honoring the past, present, and future during his address to the audience. Students from the Rio and Oxnard school districts surprised the crowd with a dance number at the end of the ceremony, which comes as the university celebrates its 20th anniversary.