64.3 F
Laguna Hills
Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Chapman’s Pace on Immigrant Engagement: Unplanned, Impressive

- Advertisement -

Who figured a university with fewer than 10,000 students nestled on a quaint campus just up the street from the old-timey, Middle American look and feel of the Orange Plaza would become a showcase of modern immigrant engagement and achievement that drives forward in spite of all the political palaver and high emotions attached to the subject these days? … Chapman University has taken up the job in a number of ways that seem to defy any specific planning, with a prime example offered by Paul Musco, who has gone from the “huddled masses” welcomed by Emma Lazarus’ sonnet on the Statue of Liberty to the heights of commercial and philanthropic accomplishment as the founder of Santa Ana-based Gemini Industries. Musco is one of 10 children of immigrant parents who sacrificed to make sure there was a $15 RCA Victrola record player in the house because his Sicily-born father believed music makes “food for the soul.” Now his family name adorns the $82 million, world-class performing arts center at Chapman … Musco will complete another sweetly symbolic circle in April, getting an Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which celebrates “patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity.” A dinner at the Westin South Coast Plaza will precede a concert at the Segerstrom Center … Don’t know who will play the concert, but Chapman President Daniele Struppa, an immigrant from Italy, announced that Musco pal Placido Domingo, who hails from Spain, will get an honorary degree in March. That news came with word of a big gift for a school of engineering from Dale and Sarah Ann Fowler (see related item, page 4) … FivePoint Holdings boss Emile Haddad offered a succinct reminder about the upscale skills and economic status of many of the immigrants arriving in these parts when he shared a panel with former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at OC 2040: What Will We Look Like?, an all-day symposium hosted by Chapman last week. Haddad said he arrived to the U.S. from his native Lebanon in the 1980s amid conventional wisdom that it took immigrants seven years to build a credit history for a home mortgage. These days OC draws scads of entrants who “are flying first class and paying cash” … Essie Adibi came from Iran, and the late economist developed three abiding passions here: his family, Chapman and SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, according to Jim Doti, who was Struppa’s renowned predecessor in leading the school. All three of those passions came together in honor of the late economist when Chapman made sure a suite of offices at its A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research will carry the Adibi name, with the help of a contribution from SchoolsFirst. The credit union counted Adibi as a member and director for years, and now has some plans for a much bigger suite of offices in mind (see related story, page 1) … Anyone who doubts that the current crops of huddled masses and well-heeled immigrants will assimilate should note Hanmi Bank’s recent English-language ad for consumer services on the front page of the Orange County Register … Sullivan says: The diversity wrought by immigration pays off in a lot of ways big and small, including the fare at Poke Ria on 17th Street in Santa Ana, where the Hawaiian style takes on Peruvian influences nicely.

Featured Articles

Related Articles