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Craig Perez ’77 (Physical Education) & Ann Perez ’78 (Physical Education), MA ’92 (Education)

Craig and Ann Perez are a true Sac State pairing. The two worked together during college and were married at the Fremont Presbyterian Church across the street from the University. The campus even catered the wedding.

"We were both head resident advisers at the time and housed all the families' guests in the first floor of Sutter Hall," says Craig ’77 (Physical Education).

"Sac State drove our wedding plans," adds Ann ’78 (Physical Education), MA ’92 (Education). "You can see the influence it's had on us."

The University still plays a major role for the couple. They're part of the Legacy Circle, including the University in their estate plans, and they are regular contributors to athletics and other campus priorities. Ann served on The University Foundation at Sacramento State Board of Directors and Craig is a member of the Retirees Association.

Their ongoing devotion and support of the University earned them the Distinguished Service Award from the Sacramento State Alumni Association.

Perhaps the most enduring testament to the Perezes' Sac State ties sits up Highway 50: the Sacramento State Aquatic Center.

Craig was instrumental in getting the Center—a joint project of Associated Students, Inc. and the California Department of Boating and Waterways—developed, raising funds and recruiting volunteers. He went on to manage the Center for nearly two decades, and the award-winning facility has provided water safety instruction to thousands of students and the general public.

Craig was also a director of development in the Office of University Development. He's currently the women's tennis coach at Folsom Lake College and says his time with the Aquatic Center still pays dividends today.

"I'm really glad I had the experience running the Aquatic Center and managing people," says Craig. "I'm a better coach because of it and it's cool to have a legacy like this."

Ann has 28 years of experience as an educator, working in San Joaquin and El Dorado counties in different capacities ranging from teaching and developing curriculum to administrative positions, including executive director at Grizzly Creek Ranch. The camp helps kids with special needs augment their independence and confidence.

For the last seven years, she's run the special education program at Ponderosa High School and will retire in June.

Of the University's 222,000 alumni, it may be difficult to find ones with more Hornet pride than the Perezes, which makes their Distinguished Service Award even more special to them.

"I'm honored. You don't think about everything you contributed while working for Sac State," Craig says.

Adds Ann, "We volunteer and support the University quite simply because our education and experiences at Sac State have provided the life we have today."

Published in the Spring 2016 edition of the Sac State Magazine

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