Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards honor alumni achievement

Established in 1972, the Distinguished Alumni Awards are given jointly by the University and the Sacramento State Alumni Association to recognize alumni and friends for their professional achievements and community service.

This year’s event, held during April’s Alumni Month celebrations, recognized eight individuals who have achieved success in their chosen fields of endeavor and have brought distinction to the University and the community through their accomplishments.

The honors included a Lifetime Achievement Award to Jan Scully ’73 (Government/Journalism), Distinguished Service Awards to Tami R. Bogert ’93 (Criminal Justice) and Scott Yuill ’85 (Finance), Cate Dyer ’05 (Sociology), Pat Fong Kushida ’85 (Marketing), Jim Gomez ’71 (Accounting) and Lee Ritchey ’67 (Electronic and Electrical Engineering), and the Rising Star Award to Philip I. Person ’08 (Communication Studies).

You can learn more about this year’s recipients in the following pages.

The award ceremony also featured the presentation of the rare Order of the Hornet to Sac State President Alexander Gonzalez. President Gonzalez will retire from the University at the end of the academic year. The Alumni Association previously named him an Honorary Alumnus.

To nominate a worthy alumnus or alumna for next year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards, visit

Jan Scully ’73 (Government/Journalism), 2015 Lifetime Achievement AwardJan Scully

A trailblazer in a male-dominated field and an impactful leader in the Sacramento Community, Jan Scully recently retired from her post as Sacramento County District Attorney.

Now focused on seeking justice for victims as co-founder of the Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center, Scully is excited to be re-engaged with the campus community through this effort. Read more

Bogert and YuillTami R. Bogert ’93 (Criminal Justice) and Scott Yuill ’85 (Business Administration-Finance and Insurance), 2015 Distinguished Service Award

Service is a passion for both Tami and Scott. Tami is currently a Sacramento County Superior Court Judge and has served under Govs. Wilson and Schwarzenegger.

Scott’s desire for supporting small business prompted him to run for Rocklin City Council and to eventually serve as mayor. Both can be found volunteering throughout Placer County and engaging with Sac State efforts in the area. Read more

Cate Dyer ’05 (Sociology), 2015 Distinguished Service Award Cate Dyer

Efficiency and breakthroughs in healthcare don’t often go hand in hand, but Cate Dyer set out to change that.

As the founder and CEO of StemExpress, her company supplies human blood, tissue products, cells and other clinical specimens to biomedical researchers around the world. Her passion for research keeps the company growing and addressing industry needs. Read more

Pat Fong KushidaPat Fong Kushida ’85 (Marketing), 2015 Distinguished Service Award

Channeling her grandfather’s business acumen has set the stage for Pat to thrive as a businesswoman.

Her career began as a buyer for Weinstock’s and Macy’s but has found her calling helping small businesses succeed through the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce. In addition to growing the local chamber, she has stepped up to head the California Asian Chamber.

 Read more

Jim Gomez ’71 (Accounting), 2015 Distinguished Service Award Jim Gomez

Jim tends to find himself on the front lines of major issues in California. From California’s prison system to helping a rapidly aging population manage the challenging health facility industry.

He is passionate about improving the quality of California’s nursing homes. He’s an active community member and returns to Sac State frequently to guest-lecture and interact with students. Read more

Lee Ritchey ’67 (Electrical and Electronic Engineering), 2015 Distinguished Service Award Lee Ritchey

Straight from Sac State to NASA and the Apollo missions, Lee Ritchey has an ongoing quest for knowledge. This led him to success with start-up companies in the Silicon Valley.

He started his latest venture, Speeding Edge, in 1994. It’s a one-man operation that sends him all over the world teaching printed circuit board design. Read more

Philip Person

Philip I. Person ’08 (Communication Studies), 2015 Rising Star Award

A sprinter on the Hornet track and field team, a leader for the Sac State Debate team, Philip now handles commercial litigation at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips in San Francisco.

In just a few short years he has caught the attention of the legal industry and is already making his mark. Read more

Return to Sac State Magazine