2003-2004 Academic Year
Fabian Núñez '97 Elected Speaker of California Assembly
Pitzer graduate credits College with being "jewel atop Claremont and Southern California"
January 12, 2004
Fabian Núñez, the newly elected Speaker of the California State Assembly, knows the importance of an education. During his journey as one of 12 children from an immigrant family in San Diego to his post in Sacramento, he made an important stop at Pitzer College to acquire degrees in political science and education in 1997. Núñez looks back on the decision to transfer to Pitzer as pivotal to his success.
"I was already a working professional when I came to Pitzer," Núñez said. "I had taken time away from college at UC San Diego to work for the One Stop Immigration and Educational Center in Los Angeles and was preparing to run the political department of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. I walked into a classroom at Pitzer where students were debating the importance of the Civil Rights movement and was impressed with the intelligence of their discussion. Some of the debates were more intelligent than what I saw in Sacramento. The students had a real sense of consciousness about the world in which they lived."
Núñez enrolled at Pitzer in 1995, opting to transfer to Pitzer rather than UCLA because of the relevance to his social justice background.
"Actually, my research into colleges led me to select Pitzer. It turned out to be a perfect fit because of the professors at Pitzer. Not only do they have the theoretical knowledge to pass along to their students, but they have an understanding of the real practical applications of that knowledge for the world," Núñez said.
"The students and the classroom discussions were inspiring," he said. "Here were all of these people from different backgrounds, age groups and socioeconomic status discussing the issues of the day with so much passion."
Social responsibility was at the heart of Núñez's experience at Pitzer.
"It is incredibly rewarding to know I have the confidence and trust of my colleagues in Sacramento," Núñez said of his recent election as Speaker. "It is very humbling to have the ability to do something like that. For students at Pitzer, it says that regardless of your background and struggles, you must always aim high. You have to expect more of yourself and work hard to achieve your goals. I am honored to be part of the Pitzer family."
"Pitzer is a college that unlike many others is active in its community," he said. "And that's not just in terms of students being active. The College has a genuine connection to the community. More and more students are going to private colleges. Pitzer is one of the best in the country and is a jewel atop Claremont and Southern California. The fact that it reaches out to people of color and the underprivileged is a sign of how we all need to move forward. The future of Pitzer is the future for California."