50th Anniversary Special:  HISTORYMEMORIESSPORTS




May 15, 1998

  Volume 50A

Celebrating CSUS' 50th Anniversary

Number 54

[ Alumnus Cartoonist - Alumna Broadcaster - Alumnus Entrepreneur -
Rockin' History - Rockin' Alumnus - Hornet Quiz ]

From the Hornet's comic pages to a national syndicate


It's always the quiet one that shocks the world with revelations kept under wraps until the pivotal moment he or she finally snaps -- or gets a nationally syndicated comic strip.

The latter happened to be the case for 41-year-old Kevin Fagan, the near-CSUS alumnus who went from being a run-of-the-mill college student to an overnight comic success -- almost.

Actually, Fagan was sketching two-dimensional realities way back in 1976 -- when the history major transferred to CSUS.

"My friend knew I was artistic and doodled for fun. That's how it started," he said. "I didn't set out to be a cartoonist, I just fell into it."

Fagan created "Drabble," a nationally syndicated comic strip depicting life as seen through the eyes of Norman Drabble -- a socially impaired, 20-something college student whose main goal is to get a date.

Fagan worked as a comic artist at the State Hornet for two years, and remembers his interview with then-editor in chief Rick Holloway. According to Fagan, Holloway was "only" able to offer $5 per comic.

Fagan, who had never recieved payment for his work, was shocked.

But "in a moment of brilliance," he submitted his strip for publication free of charge -- fearful his work would not be printed should the newspaper run out of money.

According to Fagan, "Drabble" is based largely on his college days. Neil -- the editor at Norman's student newspaper -- is actually based on Halloway.

It was through the Hornet that the Sacramento Union, once a competitor of the Sacramento Bee, discovered Fagan. The newspaper offered Fagan $5 per strip. This time he accepted the salary.

Fagan mailed his clips to syndicates around the nation at the advice of Charles Schultz of "Peanuts" fame -- and was offered a contract by United Media nine months later.

He received the news while in the company of a girl upon whom he would base the character of Wendy -- Norman's unattainable love.

"I made the call with this girl standing there. I think she thought I was making it up," he said. "Who could believe it?"

Fagan left CSUS in 1978 -- just three units shy of graduating -- to become the youngest syndicated cartoonist ever. He was 22 years old.

He said he would like to finish his degree, but currently keeps busy with his wife, Christi, and their three children -- Sean, Kelsey and Brian.

Meanwhile, he lives and draws the world of "Drabble," and will continue to do so as long as he is able.

"I have been very lucky so far," he said.

CSUS: Lunden's first stop on the road to fame



Joan Lunden is a daughter, a mother and a friend. She is an inspiration to many women, especially those hoping to follow her path into broadcast journalism. She's also a former CSUS student.

Lunden is a native Sacramentan. She graduated from Bella Vista High School after just three years, and went on to travel around the world on a ship to study abroad with Chapman College. Upon her return, she attended American River College, earning an associate's degree in liberal arts.

Lunden applied to universities all over the world, never receiving a letter of rejection. However, she decided to remain in her hometown and enrolled in CSUS in 1972.

She majored in speech communications, though she did not finish her degree. Lunden enrolled in classes such as public speaking, women in media and interviewing skills.

She was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority during her college years. In 1984, Lunden spoke at a Delta Gamma National Convention in Ohio, where she received the Delta Gamma Rose Award -- the highest achievement one could receive.

Lunden's first internship through CSUS was at KCRA-TV. It would later land her a co-anchor role at KCRA-TV, Channel 3 news, according to Ann Reed, assistant vice president for public affairs at CSUS.

After beginning as a weather girl, Lunden quickly gained the anchor position.

"Channel 3 is a fabulous training field. The girls that have worked there all go on to bigger and better things," says Gladyce Blunden, Joan's mom.

Though Joan shares her mother's last name, ABC executives changed it to the stage name "Lunden" to avoid possible references to Joan "Blunder."

KCRA turned out to be an excellent start for Lunden. In 1978 she got a call from New York's WABC-TV "Eyewitness News," after producers saw a tape of one of her news broadcasts. Within a year, Lunden landed a job as the station's weekend co-anchor.

Her first day on the job tested her boundaries, she recalls.

"I was sent to the New York Supreme Court to cover a bombing and conspiracy trial. I didn't want anyone to know that I had only been inside a courtroom once ... thank goodness for my camera crew that day. They gave me a crash course in urban journalism, and I was able to make the story work," says Lunden in her book, "Healthy Living."

After leaving WABC-TV, she found herself co-hosting ABC's "Good Morning America." Her role as co-host lasted from 1980 until September 1997, when network executives decided to move her to Prime Time.

"When I first got to 'Good Morning America,' I was always given small stories, but I knew that instead of being discouraged, I should make each one shine," Lunden said in a recent TV Guide interview.

Her 17 years as co-host on "Good Morning America" didn't come without their share of struggles. Lunden faced pressures from the press and her workload, along with being a new mother -- but used the stress to fuel a self-discovery, improving her outlook on life. Lunden talks about this topic, giving much insight into a new life in "Healthy Living."

"We have to move in order to achieve movement in our lives," Lunden writes.

It's certainly a motto for her. According to her mother, she was never one to settle for less. She accelerated throughout her childhood and adult years. Always in the limelight, Lunden won many trophies for athletic and scholarly achievements during her school years.

Lunden's mother says Joan's personality is much like her late father, Erle -- caring, inspirational and a great speaker. They are traits easily recognized in Gladyce, who says she constantly encourages her daughter. As a child, Gladyce would always tell Joan "the word can't is not in our dictionary."

Today, Lunden says in her book, her mom gives her strength and self-confidence to achieve even higher goals in life.

A world traveler, Lunden's list of worldwide achievements include covering the 50th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France, the Royal Wedding in London, the inaugurations of three U.S. presidents -- Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton -- and she was one of only three American journalists to interview Prince Charles during his visit to the U.S. in 1983.

Warm and charming, Lunden remains a favorite television personality. A best-selling author, she is the star and producer of her new series of ABC Prime Time specials, "Behind Closed Doors with Joan Lunden."

In her TV specials, Lunden goes behind the scenes and participates in interesting occupations around the country.

Currently, Lunden is working on her new book, "A Bend in the Road is Not the End of the Road," and taping a new segment of her show in California. Both are due out in fall.

Java City coffee has deep roots at CSUS

John Weborg, co-founder of Java City coffee, graduated from CSUS in 1965.


Java City has been on-campus longer than students think. John Weborg, co-founder of Java City coffee, graduated from CSUS in 1965 with a business degree in marketing.

Even before Weborg started Java City, he worked closely with CSUS food services. Weborg's family owned Sterling Restaurant Services, a distributor for the food business industry -- including CSUS.

In 1985, Weborg and his wife, Sandra Singer, decided to get into specialty coffees so they came up with the idea of starting Java City.

"We were very surprised by its success," said Weborg. "We started it as more of a hobby than anything else."

Singer actually came up with the idea. Before she married Weborg, Singer lived in San Francisco. Weborg lived in Sacramento. When she came to visit she would bring him specialty coffee. One day, Singer casually told Weborg he should start his own specialty coffee shop. The rest is history.

Now Java City is a $50 million company, has 40 different locations and over 750 employees. Although Weborg is still the President and CEO of the company, there are now many shareholders who also own the business.

Weborg continues to remain close to his alma mater. He is the chairman of the School of Business Advisory Council and works closely with the school's dean, Felicenne Ramey.

Weborg wants to connect the business community with the campus. Whether it's promoting the business department or providing Java City coffee on campus, Weborg wants to be involved.

"I feel I got a strong education from Sac State and I have a desire to give something back," said Weborg.

CSUS has a rockin' history


In 50 years of higher education at CSUS, students have been treated to some great study breaks, in the form of live rock music. Today, the campus is a hotbed of musical talent, with performances taking place at least once a week for students to attend and enjoy.

Whether it is an acoustic folk guitarist in the Coffee House or a funk band playing a "Nooner" in the Redwood Room, music is a part of campus life.

Many of today's students don't realize the musical legacy this out-of-the-way school is proud to possess.

In February 1968, an avant garde young guitarist from Seattle named Jimi Hendrix, along with his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, brought his trademark Fender Stratacaster to CSUS and wowed a packed Men's Gym. This musical superstar, whose aggressively psychedelic guitar style changed the world of rock music, is the biggest name in the genre to ever grace CSUS.

Later that same year, a major combatant in the British rock invasion took the campus by storm. Fronted by guitar virtuoso Ritchie Blackmore, the five-piece Deep Purple came to Sacramento backing their single, "Hush." The English rockers, who would later go on to become rock legends, had been together just seven months at the time of their appearance on the campus. Tickets for the November 13, 1968, Deep Purple show in the Men's Gym cost students just $3.50. Another 1968 performance, at the "Gold Rush '68" showcased the singing and dancing talents of a vibrant girl named Tina Turner.

The 1970s welcomed a great deal of musical variety to CSUS. Big-name acts such as the 1950s-rock outfit Sha-Na-Na and jazzy San Francisco guitarist Boz Scaggs entertained students with on-campus concerts. Barry Melton and the Fish -- made famous by Country Joe at Woodstock with his "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag" (One ... Two ... Three ... / What are we fightin' for?) -- played to a sold-out CSUS crowd during the decade that spawned the disco craze.

Throughout the 1970s, the term "rock concerts" became synonymous with "rowdy drunkfests," which caused concerned school administrators to cringe at the April 7, 1983, announcement that New York punk superstars. The Ramones had been booked to play CSUS. The May 3 show, the biggest of the 1980s, went off without a hitch, much to the relief of school officials, as fans danced the "Pogo" to hits like "Beat On The Brat" and "Blitzkrieg Bop."

The 1990s have seen a resurgence in CSUS rock concert interest, as many national headliners have brought their talent to campus.

The largest concert ever to come to the school took place in September of 1992. A Genesis reunion show, featuring original members Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks, filled the newly renovated Hornet Stadium. Hundreds of noise complaints from residential areas surrounding the campus forced school officials to halt all large shows at the stadium. Genesis became the first and last to play the venue.

After the Genesis show, the South Gym became the main venue for campus concerts, sheltering shows by three world-famous acts.

In February of 1993, East L.A.'s favorite sons, Los Lobos, rocked CSUS. The band, featured in the hit movie "La Bamba," entertained a standing-room-only, main-gym crowd with their trademark blend of American rock and traditional Mexican music.

Sheryl Crow, having won a Grammy for Best New Artist the night before, stopped at CSUS for an amazing March 7, 1995, performance which included such hits as "Leaving Las Vegas" and "All I Wanna Do" from her multi-platinum album, "Tuesday Night Music Club."

Just two months later, alterna-rockers Live put on a fantastic South Gym show. Live has gone on to become one of the premier acts in modern rock.

After 50 years of big rock shows under its belt, CSUS looks forward to many more years of great music.

Mick Martin's
"Musical Underground"

(Appeared in the State Hornet from 1969 to 1970)

Oct. 7, 1969: BEATLES, eh? Their new LP "Abbey Road" is worthy of shouts, screams, and respectful quiet. Not since "Sergeant Pepper" has quality and imagination been synonymous with a new rock release.

JANIS JOPLIN, the red-hot mama of rock, is coming to town! Along with her band, the JOPLINAIRES (led by Snooky Young), she will, obviously, delight Sacramento with her usual, as of late, responsive performance.

Nov. 4, 1969: LED ZEPPLIN's second LP is out, and it's better than the first. Still, how long can YOU listen to hard, hard rock albums? I'd imagine that this LP will last for three months and then be put away for two and the process repeated.

Nov. 12, 1969: Seeing LED ZEPPLIN for the first time is an experience unparalleled by any other. The band has a "huge" sound, there's very few other ways to describe it.

Bands like CREAM, JIMI HENDRIX, BLUE CHEER, and LINN COUNTRY have tried various levels of volume blasting, but only LED ZEPPLIN has perfected the technique.

Nov. 25, 1969: CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG in concert are so beautifully together that it's practically impossible to review them. Seeing them at Winterland in San Francisco, I decided that there was no doubt that they ARE America's long awaited answer to the BEATLES.

Mick Martin: A rock 'n' roll start at CSUS and the Hornet


With over 300 shows a year, a new international record release and a European tour pending in July, Mick Martin of Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers has more than his share of work to keep him busy.

Martin attended CSUS from 1969 to 1970 and studied journalism in the communications department. During that time he began a music column at the State Hornet titled "Musical Underground" and a radio show by the same name on the campus radio station, KERS.

"I was someone that mystified the adviser. I talked a language they did not understand," said Martin. "I was not an academic; I wanted to learn and apply, not just learn for learning's sake. I am a doer."

Martin feels that one of his biggest contributions to CSUS was opening the campus up to a more diverse listening audience.

"At that time on campus, music was by and large treated as teen-beat -- it was gossipy, talked down to people, and focused on who was dating who," he said.

"Everyone knew who Perry Como was, but had no idea who Eric Clapton was. I was the first person to treat the music scene seriously at CSUS," said Martin.

"Musical Underground" -- which Martin still hosts from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays on KXJZ, 88.9 FM -- focuses mainly on blues-based music and features newer music as well.

Martin's notable accomplishments include an annual book titled "Video Movie Guide"; 18 years at the now-defunct Sacramento Union as a movie critic; five years as a movie critic for Channel 40; and his own TV show, "Mick Martin's Entertainment Showcase," which appeared on Channels 31, 10 and 40 for three years.

Although he never received a college degree, Martin gives credit to CSUS for giving him the skills to write successfully.

"It taught me the finer points of journalism -- how to write, whether I wanted to or not, and the disciplines involved in being a writer," he said.

Between appearances, Martin spends time going to colleges, universities and juvenile hall facilities to give inspirational speeches about achieving dreams and goals.

"You need to pay your respects and help people out; that is the one thing I still cling to from my time era. We need to look at people as individuals and let people know that anything is possible. I'm living proof that dreams really can come true," said Martin.

Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers have been together for five years.

"I had given up and gone into journalism, but I love music, and if something is worth doing, it is worth putting your whole heart into," he said.

The group now boasts its first international record release through JSP out of England and is gearing up for a European tour to England, Belgium and Italy this summer. The title of their album is "Good Reaction" and was released in the U.S. last month.

Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers will be playing in Sacramento at The Distillery at 3 p.m. May 17 and the Dixieland Jubilee on Memorial Day weekend.



Take our Fast Facts Quiz and find out how much you really know about your alma mater.

1.) Even when half the campus was dirt, parking was a problem.
a.) True
b.) False

2.) In the early 1970's when a streaker ran through the Library quad area, what was he wearing?
a.) Socks
b.) A hat
c.) Nothing
d.) There was no streaker

3.) Who was a CSUS student?
a.) Hillary Clinton
b.) Tom Hanks
c.) Justin Case

4.) When did Martin Luther King Jr. speak on this campus?
a.) 1962
b.) 1967
c.) Never

5.) Commencement used to be held:
a.) before finals week
b.) during finals week
c.) after finals week

6.) In 1949, the student fees for 5 units or more were:
a.) $6.50
b.) $45.50
c.) $110.50

7.) Winter break once was:
a.) before finals week
b.) during finals week
c.) after finals week