Good evening. And thank you, Angie.

Tonight’s event represents a happy and important convergence of influences, ideas and partnerships.

As such, it reminds me of two lovely phrases from E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End about connections — how they enable us to enlarge space and how they help us to live in fragments no longer.

The essence of education is self-discovery — a journey of intellect, and self, and values. The convergence of these individual journeys can be a shared vision — a common commitment to ideas and actions that hold promise for the betterment of society as well as self-fulfillment.

We have several converging journeys forming a vision of a pathway to the future in this program. There is the Cal Poly Land Project, an increasingly more exuberant and eloquent inquiry and celebration of the extraordinary resource that the nearly 10,000 acres of this campus constitute.

In Don McLean’s song-poem, "American Pie", a history of Rock & Roll and American society ‘50s-‘70s, there is the revelatory line: "Lennon read a book on Marx" — John, that is, not Vladimir, and Karl, that is. And it was Frederick Engels’ biography of Marx in which he said, "anyone still wishing to do battle with socialism will have to deal with Marx". It had a profound influence on Lennon’s music from "Sgt. Pepper" on, as well as other expressions of his own philosophy and creative journeys before his tragic death.

Our own Marx — Steve — read a book and had an epiphany, too. This was Amory Lovin’s Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution–and it has refocused his thinking on environmental and ecological issues, on the relationship between entrepreneurs and engineers, between technology and philosophy, between understanding and action. It is a book that cannot be ignored, because it is groundbreaking and inspirational.

Angie Hacker and Pablo Paster and Travis Hamera and their fellow students are the leaders of another journey: the Campus Sustainability Initiative, a vision of environmental stewardship; an effort to make the campus more green, more environmentally responsible by living within the limits of our natural resources without harming the environment. It is a compelling venture.

Which leads us to our distinguished speaker this evening.

Amory Lovins has been called a prophet, a visionary, a genious, a friend of the planet, a hero of the planet. His work has primarily emanated from the Rocky Mt. Institute, founded in 1982 as an independent non-profit resource policy center and think-tank. As the Institute’s co-founder, CEO and research director, he has led its cutting-edge and future-focused work in energy, sustainability and resource management fields.

We believe Amory Lovins to be the right person, at the right time to affirm our sensitivities, to challenge our commitments, and to focus our efforts.

Much of his work and thinking has emphasized the role and responsibility of colleges and universities to have a positive impact on the environment, to be models of good environmental and sustainable practices.

I’m sure he will tell us why tonight.

With Cal Poly’s mission, our programmatic mix, our problem-oriented, active-learning curriculum and education philosophy, we are ready for his message and prepared to respond to it.

We think we are one of those right places where we can, and should, make a difference in matters of sustainability, ecology, environmental engineering, and environmental design and entrepreneurship.

This year, as we think about and celebrate what Cal Poly has achieved and accomplished in its first 100 years, we have an opportunity to consider where and how we will effect leadership in our second century.

We are most pleased, then, to have with us tonight a person of vision and purpose who can help us further shape our own mission and its expressions.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in extending a warm welcome to Amory Lovins.