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Alumni Association

Distinguished Alumni Awards - Honoring Alumni

Nomination Criteria

Distinguished Service Awards are given in recognition of professional achievements and community service.  Nominees must have achieved prominence in their chosen field and brought distinction to the University and/or their community through their accomplishments.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to alumni for exceptional career achievements, exceptional contributions to the campus and community, and for setting high standards of excellence in their personal and professional lives. 

Honorary Alumnus Awards are given to friends of the University who have demonstrated a close affinity to the campus and who have rendered exceptional support and leadership to the University or Association.

The Rising Star Award is given to a graduate of Sacramento State who has received his or her first Sacramento State degree since 2005 and has made outstanding contributions professionally, to the community or to Sacramento State.

NOTE: Current Alumni Association Board Directors, Chapter Leaders or others in key Association leadership positions are not eligible for consideration during their active term.

Sponsorship Opportunities

There are several sponsorship opportunities available. Please review our sponsor information sheet (PDF). To learn more about how you can benefit from partnering with the Alumni Association, please visit our Sponsors/Affinity Partners page

For questions, please contact Jennifer Barber, Executive Director at or (916) 278-3797.

2016 DAA Honorees

The Distinguished Alumni Awards event will be held on Thursday, April 28th, at the Harper Alumni Center, Sacramento State. Get your tickets before the 'early-bird' rates expire on Monday, Feb. 29.

Distinguished Service Award
Michael '92 and Christine '92 Ault (Communication Studies)
Tim Murphy '91 (Government)
Craig '77 and Ann '78, MA '92 Perez (Physical Education)
Deborah Ross-Swain '73, MS '75 (Speech Pathology and Audiology)

Honorary Alumna Award

Susan McGinty

Rising Star Award
Justin Knighten '08 (Communication Studies)

2015 Sacramento State Distinguished Alumni Awards Honorees

Order of the Hornet

President Alexander Gonzalez, President, Sacramento State
Dr. Alexander Gonzalez has served more than three decades as a professor and education leader, including the last 11 years as the seventh permanent president of California State University, Sacramento, one of the largest universities in the California State University 23-campus system. A native Californian and the first person in his family to graduate from college, Dr. Gonzalez has devoted his career to ensuring greater opportunities for students.

Alexander Gonzalez

Lifetime Achievement Award

Jan Scully ’73 (Government/Journalism), Retired District Attorney, Sacramento
A sound education and a resolve gained from decades of success made Jan Scully ’73 (Government/Journalism) a trailblazer, and an impactful leader in the Sacramento community. Scully retired from her post as Sacramento County District Attorney last year after 20 years as the county’s top prosecutor. She is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sac State Alumni Association for her ongoing dedication to helping people in her hometown.

Jan Scully

Distinguished Service Award

Cate Dyer ’05 (Sociology), CEO/Founder, Stem Express
Efficiency and breakthroughs in healthcare don’t often go hand in hand. Cate Dyer ’05 (Sociology) set out to change that. Her company, StemExpress, supplies human blood, tissue products, cells and other clinical specimens to biomedical researchers around the world. Since it launched in 2010, it’s blossomed into a multi-million dollar company, based in a beautiful, 19,000 square-foot building in downtown Placerville.

Cate Dyer

Pat Fong Kushida ’85 (Business Administration), President/CEO, Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce
Pat Fong Kushida ’85 (Marketing) never lets expectations hem her in. The youngest of five children born to Chinese immigrants, she wasn’t expected to aspire beyond marriage and raising children. But Fong Kushida thrived as a businesswoman and her efforts in raising the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce to statewide prominence have altered the standards for business chamber groups.

Pat Fong Kushida

Jim Gomez ’71 (Business Administration), CEO, California Association of Health Facilities
Jim Gomez ’71 (Accounting) tends to find himself on the front lines of major issues in California. In the late 1980s and early 90s, as California’s prison system evolved into one of the countries largest—and most politically touchy—Gomez was at the helm. His latest charge is helping a rapidly aging population manage a health facility industry that is facing tough challenges.

Jim Gomez

Lee Ritchey ’67 (Electrical Engineering), Speeding Edge and Sensorium Wines
When Lee Ritchey ’67 (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) gazes up at the moon at night he can beam with pride, though it’s not in his nature. Ritchey reached an incredible professional peak just two years after graduating from Sac State, designing an advanced transistor radio for the Apollo missions. His handiwork was a part of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong’s moon landing.

Lee Ritchey

Tami R. Bogert ’93 (Criminal Justice) and Scott Yuill ’85 (Business Administration, Finance & Insurance), Judge, Sacramento County Superior Court (Tami) and President, Scott Yuill Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. (Scott)
In 2013, Scott Yuill ’85 (Business Administration, Finance & Insurance) and Tami R. Bogert ’93 (Criminal Justice) played a scene straight out of a romance movie. There was Yuill, raising his right hand as Bogert, his wife, swore him in as mayor of Rocklin.

Tami Bogert and Scott Yuill

Rising Star Award

Philip I. Person ’08 (Communication Studies), Litigation Associate, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
As a freshman at Sac State, Philip I. Person ’08 (Communication Studies) envisioned racking up honors as a sprinter for the Hornet track and field team. Ten years later, he’s garnering awards, but in an entirely different arena. The attorney’s latest accolade is the Rising Star Award from the Sac State Alumni Association.

Philip I. Person

2015 Event Videos

Order of the Hornet Award Recipient
President Alexander Gonzalez

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient
Jan Scully ’73 (Government/Journalism)

Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Cate Dyer ’05 (Sociology)

Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Pat Fong Kushida ’85 (Business Administration)

Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Jim Gomez ’71 (Business Administration)

Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Lee Ritchey ’67 (Electrical Engineering)

Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Tami R. Bogert ’93 (Criminal Justice) and Scott Yuill ’85 (Business Administration, Finance & Insurance)

Rising Star Award Recipient
Philip I. Person ’08 (Communication Studies)

Past Recipients - 2015


Order of the Hornet 
President Alexander Gonzalez

Lifetime Achievement Award
Jan Scully***

Distinguished Service Award
Cate Dyer
Pat Fong Kushida
Jim Gomez
Lee Ritchey
Tami R. Bogert and Scott Yuill

Rising Star Award
Philip I. Person****

Award Information

The Order of the Hornet Award was presented from 1972-1985.  In 1987 the awards became known as the Distinguished Service Awards, periodically giving Order of the Hornet (*) designation to selected recipients. 

Later added were Honorary Alumnus/a (**), Lifetime Achievement (***) and Rising Star (****) categories. 

Faculty/Administrator awards are designated (^).

Past Recipients 1995-2014


Distinguished Service Award
Maureen Bauman
Chris Higdon
James P. Mayer
Javed Siddiqui
Kerri Thomas


Distinguished Service Award
David Bugatto
Cheryl Dell
Michael Kuhlmann
Garry Maisel
Rhonda Staley-Brooks

Rising Star Award
Christina Preston****


Lifetime Achievement Award
Joseph F. Sheley***

Distinguished Service Award
Greg J. Hagwood
John & Margi Herzog
Kit Miyamoto
Mark Otero

Rising Star Award
Robert Meza****
Janay Swain****


Distinguished Service Award
Thomas M. Gilbert
Paul Lau
Ted Puntillo
Tina Treis

Rising Star
Krista Bernasconi****

Honorary Alumni Award
Dr. Alexander Gonzalez
Patricia Clark-Ellis 


Distinguished Service Award
Douglas Curley
Helena Fitch-Snyder
Eddie Kho
Cristina Mendonsa
Michael Reinero
Holly Tiche

Rising Star
Baldwin Chiu****


Lifetime Achievement Award
Larry Cook***

Distinguished Service Award
Karen Bakula
Charles E. Bell
Alejandro Garcia
Jan A. Nolta

Honorary Alumnus Award
George Crandell**


Distinguished Service Award
Michael Carter
John Gesek
Greg Knapp
Sia Nemat-Nasser
Walt Schaub
Paulette Trainor

Honorary Alumnus Award
Mark Drobny**
Pamela O. Stewart**


Lifetime Achievement Award
Roger Valine***

Distinguished Service Award
Larry Augusta
Lauren Hammond
Kim Hughes^
Scott W. Maxwell
Gloria Nomura
Alice D. Perez
Lloyd O. Snelson
Larry Williams
Karen Zamarripa
Daniel Zingale

Honorary Alumnus Award
Daniel Cole**


Lifetime Achievement Award
William Campbell III***

Distinguished Service Award
Jack Bertolucci
Patrick Fenwick
Jack Higdon
Marilyn Hopkins^
Theresa Parker
Randy Reynoso
Rene Syler


Distinguished Service Award
Michael L. Brown
Sonney Chong
Todd Murch
Albert Najera
Kirk B. Sturm
Scott C. Syphax
Ann Weldy^
Rosemary Younts


Distinguished Service Award
Fred Dalkey
Kayla Gillan
Craig T. Johnson
Kenneth A. Macias
Robin Martial
David H. Mering
Scott J. Modell^
Melba O. Mosher
Pamela G. Saltenberger
Robbie Waters
Mary Jane Young

Honorary Alumnus Award
Ray Clemons**^


Distinguished Service Award
Virginia Avila
Robert Dean
Edward Del Biaggio^
Mike Dourgarian
Jim Fitzpatrick
Gail Hullibarger
Judy Quattrin^
Ben Roberts
Marlene Von Friederichs-Fitzwater

Honorary Alumnus Award
Rosemary Clemons**
Gary Hart**^
Nicholas Windeshausen**^


Distinguished Service Award
Christopher Cabaldon
Dale Carlsen
Richard C. Johns
Suzanne Kingsbury
William H. Lee
Mary Louise Mack
Gil Moore
Robert Perry-Smith
Felicenne Ramey^
H. John Shaw, III
Fred Teichert

Honorary Alumnus Award
Roy Brophy**


Lifetime Achievement Award
Angelo Tsakopoulos***

Distinguished Service Award
Patricia Cochran
Ron Davis
Gregg Lukenbill
Kathleen McGrath
Kitty O'Neal
Ray Shaddick
Michael Ubaldi
Robert Waste^

Order of the Hornet
Dennis Gardemeyer*
Gary Kimmel*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Muriel Johnson**


Lifetime Achievement Award
Joe A. Serna, Jr.***^

Distinguished Service Award
Suzanne Adan
Louis Blanas
Jesus Fernandez Jr.
Mary Hargrave
Janet McWilliams
Kenneth Owens
Tony Saca
Michael Stevens
Robert Thomas

Order of the Hornet
Catherine MacMillian*
Dixie Schneider*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Stan Atkinson**


Distinguished Service Award
Lory Heron
Albert Hurtado
Joseph Mohamed Sr.
Randy Paragary
Gail Tom^
Charles Trainor

Order of the Hornet
Phillip Cowan*
Melinda Melendez*
Paul Robins*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Alex Spanos**
Harry Sweet**


Distinguished Service Award
Edward Chavez
Christine Dean
Daniel Decious^
Daniel DeFoe
Clarke J. Dominguez
Kelvin K. Lee
Mike McGowan
Ted Morse
John Moulds
Paul Sax

Order of the Hornet
John Messner*
Bev Short*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Thomas Hobday**


Distinguished Service Award
Janice Rogers Brown
Irvin Faria^
Giselle Fernandez
Roger Fong
Joseph J. Kearns
Steve Pleau
Roger Valine
Richard Weaver
Tom Weborg

Order of the Hornet
Steven Yamshon*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Cal Boyes**^


Distinguished Service Award
William Collard
Gloria Glyer
Kenneth Kerri^
Duane Lowe
Denise Mazzucca-Barrett
William Popejoy
Jan Scully

Honorary Alumnus Award
Josef Moorehead**^


Distinguished Service Award
Mary Buehler
Al Geiger
Robert Metcalf^
John Poswall
Pauline Roccucci
Raymond Valdez

Order of the Hornet
Isabel Hernandez-Sema*^
Frank LaPena*^

Honorary Alumnus Award
Louis Desmond**
Enlow Ose**

Past Recipients 1972-1994


Distinguished Service Award
Allen Johnson
Gregory Kondos
Dave Lucchetti
Sylvia Minnick
Barbara O’Connor^
James Shelby

Order of the Hornet
John Smith*^
Jack Waymire*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Donald Gillott**^


Distinguished Service Award
Phil Boyer
Jamie Candelaria
Kenneth Hansen
June LaVerne Long
Antonia Lopez
Sam Pannell
Dennis Tootelian^

Order of the Hornet
Ron W. Smith*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Fred Anderson**


Distinguished Service Award
Felicia Bessent
Ward Connerly
Linda Dixon
William Dorman^
John Fitzgerald
Elizabeth McClatchy
Don Zingale^

Honorary Alumnus Award
Fred Hummel**


Distinguished Service Award
Fred Uhl Ball
Grantland Johnson
Said Kaki
Trong Nguyen
Leticia Quezada
Joe A. Serna Jr.^

Order of the Hornet
Robert W. Bell*
Gary Quattrin*


Distinguished Service Award
Deborah Colberg^
C. Carson Conrad
Fred Dawkins
M. Wayne Thiebaud
Malcolm Weintraub

Order of the Hornet
David Morse*
John Ranlett*^

Honorary Alumnus Award
Norman J. Phillips**


Distinguished Service Award
Dr. W. Richard Cobb^
Marjorie Geiszler
C. Stanley Gilliam
Robert Mange
Robert Rivinius

Order of the Hornet
Winnie Leung*


Distinguished Service Award
Margo Murray
Jean Runyon
William Whitehead^

Order of the Hornet
William Campbell III*
Robert Curry*^


Distinguished Service Award
John McNamara
Frank Borgia
Nick Floratos

Order of the Hornet
Dorothy Lombard*
Coach Bob Mattos*


Order of the Hornet
Lloyd Connelly
John P. Kearns


Order of the Hornet
Carl Ludwig^
Thomas Willoughby


Order of the Hornet
W. Lloyd Johns^


Order of the Hornet
Steven Arvizu
Sandra Baker


Order of the Hornet
George Creel^
Rod Hamilton
Ann Reardon


Order of the Hornet
Henry A. Bamman^
Phillip Isenberg
Gordon P. Martin^
George Sumner


Order of the Hornet
Keith B. Kenny
J. Harold Severaid^


Order of the Hornet
Lewis Crowl^
Joe A. McGowan^
Stanley Pretzer^
Efra Zollinger^


Order of the Hornet
Robert Gustafson
Harold B. Roberts^


Order of the Hornet
Donald Bailey^
John W. Baker^


Order of the Hornet
Hubert McCormick^


Order of the Hornet
Gordon D. Schaber
Robert Wyman