Brown University President Christina Paxson Joins Vistamar for Speaker Series

Nearly 3,000 miles separates 14-year-old Vistamar School and 255-year-old Brown University. Yet, the two academic institutions came together in El Segundo on Wednesday, May 8 for Vistamar’s annual Buckheit Educational Leadership Series.

This year’s featured speaker, Brown University President Christina Paxson shared her thoughts, as well as industry research on the returns of a college education and the impact of college choice on economic prospects and social mobility in her talk, Higher Education as an Engine of Economic Mobility. Set against a national conversation on college admissions, President Paxson discussed the different challenges universities, as well as students face as they go through the admissions process, and then college and graduate school.

President Paxson spoke to a crowd of Vistamar families and members of the outside community, including other independent school and charter school leaders from the Greater Los Angeles area. When asked, “How many of you drove more than an hour to get here,” several people bravely admitted their battle with LA traffic. The audience was invited to ask questions, and was able to engage in thoughtful conversation with President Paxson as she often posed her own questions back to the guests standing at the microphone.  

Brown University and Vistamar School share similar approaches to education, as well as philosophies – perhaps that’s why seven Vistamar students have gone on to Brown after graduating from high school. President Paxson herself is a kindred spirit to the school. As Vistamar Head of School Chris Bright said of President Paxson, “I’m thrilled she’s here. So much of the work she’s championed, including increasing scholarships for low-income families and her work to create a more just, inclusive and equitable communities is in parallel with our work here and our extraordinary commitment to equity and justice.”

The Buckheit Educational Leadership Series explores issues in education and adolescent development of interest to greater Los Angeles community. It is held annually at Vistamar’s campus in El Segundo, and is free to attend. President Paxson is the school’s eighth Buckheit Series guest speaker.


Vistamar School is a private independent high school in the South Bay region of Los Angeles
Vistamar School  |  737 Hawaii Street, El Segundo, CA 90245  |  T: 310.643.7377  |  F: 310.643.7371