Carvajal’s passion was evident in his inaugural address

Published 4:45 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Last Friday morning, I had the pleasure of attending the official inauguration of Dr. Richard Carvajal as Bainbridge College’s fourth president. Being the first installation of a college president that I have attended, I really didn’t know what to expect. I have to say, I sure didn’t expect to hear and see what I did during the hour-long ceremony.

I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb by saying that, most likely, many of those in attendance did not expect to see and hear a speech like the one that was given by Carvajal.

What I saw and heard was a man greatly passionate about his work at Bainbridge College. Greatly passionate about the role that Bainbridge College plays in this community and this region of the state. Greatly passionate about his own life and beautiful family. And greatly passionate about what the future holds for the students, faculty, and staff of Bainbridge College.

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We, as a community and region, are fortunate that Carvajal was the man on the podium delivering one of the best speeches I have ever heard, during the ceremony last Friday morning. And no, I don’t think it is a reach, at all, to call his speech one of the “all-timers.”

I won’t soon forget the Spanish phrase, “Sí, sí se puede,” the slogan of César Chávez, co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association and a Latino civil rights activist in the 1950s and 1960s, that was a central theme of the speech. “Yes, together all things are possible” is the English translation of the slogan. And, yes, I believe all things are possible at Bainbridge College with Carvajal’s leadership and with the dedicated, talented faculty under his leadership.

Carvajal described parts of his childhood and past that are deeply personal, but are vitally important to shaping the man that is our Bainbridge College president. Not many of us could have related such personal experiences in front of a large crowd. But those experiences make Carvajal the ideal man to lead Bainbridge College into the next phase, going from good to great.

Stories in past issues of The Post-Searchlight have described a multitude of physical plant improvements that are part of the college’s master plan. In addition to the improvements to the campus, Carvajal’s plan includes an answer to the long-standing question of whether or not Bainbridge College should offer four-year baccalaureate degrees. If the answer to that question is “yes” or “no,” rest assured that the answer will be in the best interest of the college and the communities it serves.

This is an exciting time at Bainbridge College. What the future holds is ever expanding and it will be fun to see some of the ideas and goals that Carvajal described come to fruition. If you don’t think it will happen, just remember, “Sí, sí se puede.”

While it doesn’t have quite the impact of hearing the words directly from Carvajal, you can download the entire speech from

Dr. Richard Carvajal’s inauguration speech (PDF, 91 kb)