A Sociology major, Roger J. Valine graduated from Sacramento State in 1973. He chose that major because it reflected the interest in human relationships that he learned to value growing up in a supportive family.
The Valine family has operated farms in the Sacramento area for generations; his family immigrated here from the Azores in 1860. Mr. Valine was born and raised in Sacramento.
The Sociology degree also helped prepare Mr. Valine for a career that involved understanding organizations and responding to people's needs. After graduation, he joined a company, then known as California Vision Service, as a management trainee. In 1992, he became president and chief executive officer of that company, now called Vision Service Plan (VSP). That year, VSP earned $1.122 billion in revenue. It has become the nation's leading eye care health plan, providing eye and vision care services to 14,000 employer and health plans covering 24 million members.
VSP is a non-profit organization that gives back much to the community. Its "Sight for Children" program, for example, contributes $7 million to provide eye exams and glasses for the working poor. The year that Mr. Valine assumed the reins of VSP, the company established the Roger Valine-VSP Scholarship at Sac State to recognize his years with the company and to contribute to what Mr. Valine values greatly: education.
Ever an active supporter of CSUS, Mr. Valine received the University's Distinguished Service Award from the Alumni Association in 1997. Ever active in the Sacramento community, he serves on the board of directors for a number of organizations. Included among those organizations is the Sacramento Region Economic Cluster Project, on which Mr. Valine is a leading participant in the Capital Region Business Education Partnership.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my education. At the time that I was going to school I was also working full time, and Sac State was there when I needed it, offering the right courses at the right times, and giving me a safe place to study where people cared about my welfare. It gave me a good education and a ticket to play."