Speaking to four congregations on Feb. 28, Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya M. Coley shared a clear message about the power of education, “Over my time as a student and educator, a simple fact has been made evident to me time and again. That simple fact is this: education can be transformative for individuals, families, and communities.”
Coley’s pre-recorded message was part of the CSU’s annual Super Sunday event. For more than a decade, the CSU has partnered with faith-based leaders to host Super Sunday during the month of February, where CSU leaders bring an empowering message to churches throughout California about the importance of preparing for college.
Usually, Coley visits a single congregation each year. Due to safety precautions around the coronavirus pandemic, Coley took the opportunity to record a message that could be shared with multiple gatherings. This year, her message was broadcast to Mt. Sinai Church of God in Christ, Macedonia Baptist Church and Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Pomona and Shield of Faith Christian Center in Ontario.
Later in the day, CPP staff from Outreach, Recruitment & Educational Partnerships, Admissions, Financial Aid, EOP and RISE held an information session and panel discussion with prospective students and their families and supporters.
Coley focused her remarks on the CSU’s national leadership in promoting access and eliminating barriers to a college education. In terms of affordability, Coley noted that most CSU students graduate without debt and that 84 percent of CSU undergraduates receive some form of financial aid and three-quarters of those students have the full cost of their tuition covered.
Coley also cited the CSU’s leadership in promoting social mobility by referencing a report released by Money Magazine in August that ranked the nation’s “Most Transformative Colleges.” After considering which institutions provided the most “value-added” for their students, six out of the top ten were CSU campuses. Cal Poly Pomona ranked No. 10.
In emphasizing the power of education, Coley shared insights from an essay written in 1947 by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he was a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. In an essay he wrote for the school paper, King argued that education solely focused on the pursuit of gaining intelligence is terribly incomplete. Instead, he wrote that the goal of true education is “Intelligence plus character.”
Coley summarized: “A true college education not only provides intelligence, but also worthy objectives, ways to change the world with what we learn.”