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President's Official Address

John Scaringe, DC, EdD
Official Inaugural Address
October 2, 2010

Thank you, Bill. Normally I would comment that such an introduction would make my mother proud. Lucky for me she’s here—I might as well just ask her. Mom, what do you think? Dr Keppler, I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you are here celebrating this day with me and for being such a huge part of the festivities.

Today, we have heard that SCU has a rich history, anchored in strong traditions; an outstanding reputation in the integrative healthcare community; and a bright future. We celebrate with SCU staff and faculty, students, alumni, and Regents; with delegates from Higher Education institutions and organizations; with public officials; and with donors, friends, and university partners. On behalf of the SCU community, I thank all who shared their attendance, warm words of welcome, pledges of support, and the recognition of SCU’s contributions to healthcare education during its 100-year history. I am humbled to be given this opportunity to lead this great institution.

On the surface, an inauguration is about installing a new president. But in reality, it's about celebrating an institution. Today, we reflect on our past, take pleasure in our current accomplishments, and look to the future.
I would like to begin with some personal remarks and then turn to SCU and the opportunities that lie ahead. My goal at commencement ceremonies is to limit my address to 5-7 minutes. Please allow me extend that time in order to thank and acknowledge so many wonderful people who have supported me along the way and those who are invested in my success and the success of this great university.

I would like to begin, by thanking my wife, Christine, and two daughters, Danielle and Gabriella. Words simply cannot express how grateful I am for your unconditional love, pride, and encouragement throughout my journey.

Christine, you sacrificed your own career to support my professional and educational goals for many, many, years. I know it hasn’t been easy and I love you even more for being willing to support me in this new chapter in our lives.

Danielle, your passion for dance and positive attitude towards everyday challenges reminds me of how important those two qualities are to be successful in life. I will make sure I bring that passion to the presidency. That’s passion for higher education and healthcare, not necessarily dance. I love you sweetheart, don’t ever change.

Gabriella, sweet Gaby. Your kind heart, empathy, and champion for the underdog, fills my heart with pride. As a leader in healthcare education, these important qualities are essential to develop in all graduates, employees, and faculty. Thank you for inspiring me to never lose sight of these important virtues. I love you.

My parents, Jim and Angie. I am grateful that you created the environment that nurtured my compassion for helping others, a desire to do my best, and the value of family. You instilled core values that guide my professional and personal life, and you both were excellent role models as parents that I frequently emulate as a father for my own two children. Dad, I have taken your strong work ethic and integrity to campus everyday; and Mom, you’re the glue that holds everything together through your strong sense of family, faith, and character.

My brothers Jim, Joe, & Jerry. Jim, you’re greatest older brother any sibling can have. You always included me throughout our childhood and adolescent years while other older siblings wouldn't want to be caught dead with a younger brother hanging around. Your talents as a star high school and college athlete, love for the arts as a writer, artist, and guitarist, taught me to appreciate many different perspectives. This position has served me well as an educational leader allowing me to view situations through various lenses. Thank you for being my very first role model.

Joe, being only one year apart, we played together on the same organized sports teams, pickup games in the neighborhood, and every other activity around the house like shooting hockey pucks at each other down in the basement. You taught me that a little competition is a healthy thing—but winning at all costs is an unhealthy thing. Without knowing it, you pushed me to be better and helped shape who I am today. You were the best partner in crime any brother could ask for.

My brother, Jerry, who is not present, is a NY City Firefighter. I wish I could report that he is not here because of some obligation to the citizens of NY. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it because of his obligation to his passion—which is music—and was booked this weekend. If he were here you would immediately experience his extremely healthy outlook on life. He sees the humor in almost every situation and he has taught me to never take myself too seriously—a required trait for any successful president. Thank you guys, I love you dearly.

Aunt Fran & Uncle Lou. Thank you for your unconditional love and support. My brothers and I couldn't have been more fortunate to have a second set of parents in the two of you. As a student athlete, you need to know how much it meant to me to look up in the stands to see the two of you sitting with my Mom and Dad, to celebrate every accomplishment in our life, and to help mend every disappointment. I love you both.

My cousin Cheryl. As a Doctor of Nurse Practice, I have never seen a more competent primary care provider. Your knowledge and skills are the standard I set and expect of all our graduates. You’re the sister I never had. Thank you for all you do for our family. I love you dearly.

Bill Keppler, please stand. I don’t know what I have done to deserve you in my life. I couldn’t have found a better role model, person, or professional to call a colleague, mentor, and friend. Thank you for taking me under your wing and taking an interest in my success.

To my other higher education mentors, who were unable to attend today, but influenced me as an educational leader. People like, Al Traina, John Beckman, Gary Miller, Reed Phillips, Sandra Elman, and Roberta Rikli. They all had different and unique leadership styles, but all had several traits in common; integrity, a strong work ethic, the passion to lead, and dedication to their respective disciplines and institutions.

Bill Vega & John Murray. My gratitude to your support, guidance, and ever present encouragement during the entire doctoral program and dissertation process. Words cannot express how grateful I am for your mentorship and friendship. Our personal conversations and your counsel outside of class were invaluable. Thank you.

Cohort One. My extremely talented and passionate classmates, who without your optimism, encouragement, and wisdom I would not have endured the rigor of the program or be the educator I am today. You are all leaders in your own right, and I am honored to have you as friends and professional colleagues. The education community will continue to see great things from each of you.

All SCU Faculty. I began my career in education as faculty and my appointment as Professor is the most cherished title I have next to being a “Dad” to my two daughters. I consider it a privilege to work with the most talented and caring faculty in integrative healthcare. Thank you.

To all SCU Staff. You are the heart and soul of the institution and are made up of the most dedicated and hard working individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Your deep commitment and drive to always do better, inspires me on a daily basis. You’re the best! I appreciate all you do!

Students. If the staff is the heart and soul—you are the lifeblood of this institution. You are the most intelligent and energetic students in healthcare education. The university’s first responsibility will always be to you. Thank you for reminding me every day with your passion for learning of why I entered education in the first place.

My senior leadership team, Todd Knudsen, Debi Mitchell, Mike Sackett, and Wen Wu. I admire your dedication, professionalism, and love for SCU. You manage this institution with creativity, efficiency, and most of all with personal responsibility. I will continue to depend on your talents and counsel to springboard SCU into the second hundred years.

To the members of the Board of Regents. Thank you for the trust you have placed in me. I accept it with gratitude and with confidence that we will achieve our common goals. Also, I would like to congratulate you for your selection of the president—not because I am anything special—but because by appointing me SCU has gained the collective knowledge, skills, experience, and wisdom of all the people I mentioned here today. And with all that brain trust, passion, and determination behind SCU—there’s no limit of what we can accomplish. Thank you.

I don't really view inauguration speeches as the place to lay out luxurious strategic plans. I do, however, have strong opinions about higher education and how SCU will function within this glorious system.

This past Tuesday, during an all campus celebration, I communicated that my leadership philosophy is student, staff, and faculty-centered as long as student learning is the focus of all decisions. If SCU is going to lead and continue to make a mark in integrative healthcare, much work, collaboration, and passion must occur across all corners of the SCU community. Therefore, I have a list of challenges we all must meet to propel SCU as the leader in integrative healthcare education during the next decade.

I challenge the faculty to constantly appraise and integrate the literature into your classroom and clinical settings to improve the ART of your respective healthcare disciplines; to focus on student learning and accept the assertion that teaching only occurs when student learning can be demonstrated; and to contribute to the body of literature through thoughtful and meaningful scholarship.

I challenge the students to ask meaningful questions, seek knowledge, and work hard to understand how course material will help make you a better practitioner and not to just go through the motions to “get by”; to develop your critical and clinical decision making skills; and to appreciate all forms of healthcare with the best interest of the patient as primary importance.

I challenge the administration to be innovative, accepting of different opinions and perspective; to be strategic thinkers and problems solvers that foster collaboration, leadership, and teamwork; to build relationships internally and externally; and to shape a culture of excellence.

I challenge the staff not to accept performing your job as it has always been done and to look for new and improved ways of meeting department goals; to not only contribute individually, but to contribute with others as a team; and to be life-long learners that take initiative and solve problems with little direction.

I challenge the alumni and friends of the university to support this great institution and allow her to reach great heights in education, scholarship, and cutting-edge healthcare.

I challenge the Board of Regents to be strategic, fiscally responsible, engaged, action-oriented, and to understand the linkage of academic programs, finances, and the university’s reputation in the marketplace.

As President, I pledge to be open, honest, and candid. I will do my best to lead by example—to take action and do what I say I would do. I am prepared to silence my critics with performance and ask that you do the same. I promise to continue the strong traditions deep in LACC’s history of excellence in healthcare education, science-based inquiry, unprecedented leadership, and the value of scholarship to include the scholarship of teaching and learning.

I am honored to be your president and accept the responsibility of this office with great pride. Together, by building on SCU’s strong traditions in outstanding programs, innovation, and leadership, we can shape the future of healthcare through excellence in education and exceptional patient care.

Thank you for sharing this very special day with me. God bless you all!