May 10, 2006

Sacramento State to award Matsui
posthumous honorary doctorate

Commencement Home

Next week’s commencement ceremonies at Sacramento State will honor a friend of both the University and the Sacramento Region.

The late Congressman Robert Matsui will be recognized with an honorary doctorate from the California State University system during the College of Business Administration ceremony at noon, Saturday, May 20 at Hornet Stadium. His widow, U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), will accept the award.

More than 4,300 students are eligible to cross the stage during seven ceremonies Friday and Saturday, May 19 and 20. Ceremonies will be held at Hornet Stadium and the Outdoor Theatre, both on the University campus. During one ceremony, President Alexander Gonzalez will award the President’s Medallion to one of seven students who received Dean’s Awards early in the month. A complete list of commencement ceremonies is attached.

Robert Matsui spent 26 years representing the Sacramento area until his death in January 2005.

Matsui was widely recognized for his decency and civility as a member of Congress. He was also known for his understanding of complex national issues including social security, trade and health care. In 1988, he helped guide the landmark Civil Liberties Act of 1988 through Congress. The act led to a formal apology and compensation from the U.S. government to the Americans of Japanese ancestry who had been interned during World War II. As an infant, Matsui and his family were moved from Sacramento to the Tule Lake Internment Camp.

As a member of Congress, Matsui advocated for funds to expand Sacramento’s light rail system, build a new federal courthouse and improve flood protection. In one of his last acts as congressman, he secured $550,000 in federal appropriations for the planned Science and Space Center at Sacramento State, a figure that has now grown to $1.5 million through the efforts of his wife, Doris.

Matsui’s service to the region and the nation was recognized with numerous awards. In 2001 he received the Joe Serna Jr. Unity Award from the Capitol Unity Council. The Child Welfare League of America twice named him Congressional Advocate of the Year. The Anti-Defamation League gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award and he was also recognized by national transit and small business organizations.

Before he became a congressman Matsui served as vice mayor of Sacramento and headed a Sacramento law practice. In 2005, Doris Matsui was elected to complete his term.

More information on commencement is available at Media assistance is available by contacting the Sacramento State public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

Sacramento State Spring Commencement schedule

Friday, May 19

Saturday, May 20


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •