President Whitmore's First 100 Days

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"I felt so at ease that I called him by his first name"

Monday, September 15, 2008

President Whitmore recently attended a reception in his honor hosted by the African American Faculty and Staff Association, the Asian/Pacific Islander Caucus, and the Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association. Each group presented gifts to Whitmore, including a lei, Kona coffee and information about their organizations and related endeavors.

Hyon-Chu Yi Baker presents the president with a welcome gift, a lei from Hawaii
Hyon-Chu Yi Baker presents the president with a welcome gift, a lei from Hawaii. Photo: Robert Bain, SJSU Photographic Services.

But the president devoted most of his time to meeting individuals.

"I truly enjoyed the conversations that I had with Dr. Whitmore. I found him approachable, easy to talk with, and sincerely interested in what I had to say. At times, I felt so at ease that I called him by his first name, a behavior very distant from my culture when speaking to a person of authority. I hope he did not mind that. The gifts that were presented by the three groups welcomed him into our communities, but also emphasized the importance of relationship building to address the issues we encounter. It is my hope that we can work together to meet the needs of the communities we represent."

- Kell Fujimoto, Licensed Psychologist, SJSU Counseling Services

President Whitmore meets Professor Alex Yamato
President Whitmore meets Professor Alex Yamato. Photo: Robert Bain, SJSU Photographic Services.