CSU Voices and Views

Thank You, Professor Emmitt Clark.

 Christopher Schivley—captain of the Cal State Long Beach Police Department and Cal State Long Beach alumnus—with his son Emmitt, who was named after Professor Emmitt Clark.

Christopher Schivley—captain of the Cal State Long Beach Police Department and Cal State Long Beach alumnus—with his son Emmitt, who was named after Professor Emmitt Clark.

Dear Professor Emmitt Clark,

It only takes a split second to have your life change forever. One of those moments for me was the day I met you.

You were an inspiration to me while I was a student at Cal State Long Beach. Actually, you were much more than that. You were my support, my friend, my counselor and my mentor.

As you probably remember, I came from a tough background and my journey to college was not easy. Needless to say, my first semester was incredibly difficult. Luckily, you were not just a typical professor. To make the curriculum come to life, you always used examples from your own life…and each and every story was nothing less than remarkable. Your stories about overcoming obstacles and adversity really hit home with me and through them, I felt inspired to be more like you—a self-made man.


You reached out to me and really made an investment in my life. You helped me find my way toward my current profession in law enforcement and taught me the importance of compassion toward others, what it means to lead by example and the positive impact of constantly seeking out people who need help.

I never told you this but I took what I learned from you and became a mentor to four boys at church. I was able to use my own experience in overcoming obstacles to help these boys triumph over circumstances such as abandonment and illness. Now they are all on a path toward success; two have graduated from college, one is a police officer and the other is in the U.S. Marine Corps serving on the presidential helicopter squadron Marine One.

I’d like to think that what I experienced was a type of “pay it forward.” You have touched the lives of so many students, including myself, and in turn, these students then move on to touch the lives of others. I can’t begin to thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I continue to use the lessons that you have taught me in everything I do as a police captain, mentor and father to my new baby boy, Emmitt.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Christopher Schivley

Christopher Schivley is captain of the Cal State Long Beach Police Department. As a Cal State Long Beach alumnus and one of CSU’s 3 million alumni worldwide, he is giving thanks to the faculty member that made the most difference to him as a student during the Class of 3 Million “Give Thanks” celebration.

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