I love the beginning of the school year. The students who have arrived as 1Ls are impressive and eager to learn. 332 of them joined us at orientation last week. Their colleagues returning from their summer jobs ask me what I have been doing while they have been away. So I thought I'd share a bit about our preparation for the start of classes.
It's been a pleasure to assemble a new team. Provost & Academic Dean Elizabeth L. Hillman, the chief academic officer of the school, and Associate Academic Dean Heather Field, who oversees all matters related to students, began in their new roles, as we celebrated the retirements of their predecessors, Shauna Marshall and C. Keith Wingate, respectively.
We also welcomed two new faculty members. Alina Ball has come back to her native Bay Area from a fellowship on the East Coast, to add to our already impressive clinical course offerings. Setsuo Miyazawa, a familiar face from his many years as a visiting professor, has become a regular member of the faculty. His high profile throughout Asia ensures we are known as a Pacific Rim institution.
The UC Hastings-UCSF Consortium and Lawyers for America program, both of which have attracted attention nationally as important innovations, continue to develop. In an example of the benefits of collegiality and collaboration, the faculty members responsible for each idea noted at a recent gathering how they have traded their projects. While Sullivan Professor Marsha Cohen envisioned a medical-legal partnership well over a decade ago, Associate Dean David Faigman came up with the concept for a new pipeline into the profession. Now Dean Faigman runs the Consortium, and Professor Cohen, LfA.
On the first day of classes, a young DREAMer came to visit campus as she considers a legal career. Her parents, who were undocumented immigrants, brought her to this nation as a youngster, and she has been able to achieve tremendous success as an undergraduate while advocating for reform of immigration policies. It was a pleasure to have met her at a recent charity lunch where she was honored; I invited her to come for a personal tour.
The beginning of the school year is not complete without the annual dinner of the Patiño Fellowship, when two new students are elected to join the prestigious organization founded to support the public interest in the memory of one of our own. I saw there not only Chancellor & Dean emeritus Mary Kay Kane, but also such stalwarts as the Honorable Chief Judge Sergio A. Gutierrez '83 of the Idaho Court of Appeals, and Chris Holland '92, a leader with both the Alumni Association and Foundation Board. Gloria Davis, as always, provided administrative support to the Fellowship, and she graced the evening with her presence.
All during the summer, I've continued to visit alumni. I have enjoyed the stories of individuals such as Howard Chung '88, with whom I dined at one of his family's half dozen restaurants. When he was growing up, his life changed because the New Yorker magazine praised the original Henry's Hunan as the best Chinese restaurant in the world. In recognition of his parents' contribution to his success, Howard recently established a scholarship in their name.
I've been lucky in my life, from the moment I boarded a school bus in suburban Detroit in 1972 to the mornings alternating between riding a motorcycle from the other side of Twin Peaks to the Tenderloin and walking through Golden Gate Park to the heart of the city. It was higher education that enabled my parents to make their lives here in America, and it has been higher education that has given me a meaningful career.
I trust you will take a leadership role for our upcoming Gala on October 11. I look forward to learning about your memories of UC Hastings, and your hopes for our future.
Frank H. Wu
Frank H. Wu
Chancellor & Dean