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The Oxy Campaign For Good

The Oxy Campaign For Good


My mother came to the United States as an immigrant. She, herself, never completed a four-year degree. But each of her children has. Three of us actually got our degrees from Oxy. That is both an unusual story and a uniquely American story. And so, for me. The idea that I could do something to allow others to have access to that kind of opportunity. Is a calling. We founded Bombas when we found socks were the No. 1 most requested items at homeless shelters. For every pair purchased, we donate a pair. We built this company on the mission, so it’s in our DNA. And so far we’ve donated about 20 million pairs of socks. When I was at Oxy in my senior year. The incipient Mexican-American Civl Rights movement was just starting. Picket lines, walk-outs, sit-ins. I was a part of all of that. There I was with a Super 8 camera, telling that story. But we put it on the line because we knew we had to make a better world. And it requires people who are infused with the value of a better world. And I think that’s what you get at Oxy. The Oxy experience leaves you infused with the positive human values that are going to be with you the rest of your life. I think any higher education institution that is committed to rigor, to evidence, to open-mindedness To asking hard questions. Is sorely needed today. Those are really core American values. That are essential for upholding our democracy. A lot of America’s success is the consequence of these little precious islands of education and growth. Called liberal arts colleges. There’s this extraordinary capacity for these types of institutions. To bring people in and to prepare them for lives of purpose and meaning. Oxy is the embodiment of that ideal. The world that our students are graduating into is a complex one. And they need to be able to solve problems using a multitude of methods and perspectives and theories. And those are the kinds of things a liberal arts’ education is intended to provide. I think it’s the basis by which this next generation is going to have to figure out how to problem solve this world. Climate change, nuclear arms control, health care. Every problem that besets our society has multiple angles to it. It’s a social problem, it’s a political problem. It’s a scientific problem. And you can better address these problems with a perspective grounded in all of those disciplines. It’s rare to be in a place where this much intelligence and purpose is concentrated in this way. These dialogues aren’t common. They are rare. The capacity of the people that Oxy brings in and the caliber of the students that come here allows you the space to wrestle with those problems. In order to evolve solutions that work. What I’m most proud of as an Oxy alum is the ability to translate ideas into action. How do we make a sustainable city, an affordable city, a livable city? Taking those ideas and turning them into the concrete asphalt and steel of our streets. Our society needs the type of people that Oxy graduates. Those are people who are going to lead companies. People who are going to serve society through non-profits. People who are going to serve in government. Whether it’s income equality, whether it’s divisions in society – Whether it’s global politics. I think Occidental education is the best way to prepare people to figure out the best way forward. It has meant that in my career, I don’t accept what people in structural power tell me. I don’t accept that things that haven’t been done are impossible. We’re committed to social engagement. We’re committed to equity. We’re committed to service. We’re committed to those things that make our students the citizens that are going to pull this world in the right direction. I’ve been so privileged and fortunate enough to come here. And the question that I think about every day is is how do I go back to the place I’m from and make it better. And I know that pretty much all the other students have the same objective, that’s our goal. That’s an extremely important role for Oxy to play. To produce the kinds of graduates that make a difference in society. And for those of us who’ve been privileged to attend and our products of this institution Our commitment to it is ongoing. Because of what is made possible for us. What better time than now to start that journey. By investing in the College today, we can preserve Occidental’s legacy. For good.

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