With Honors

President's final Commencement featured honorary doctorate for Holt, multiple distinguished service medals

Commencement is always a special time at Sac State. And as the last ceremonies to be presided over by President Alexander Gonzalez before his retirement in June, this year’s spring ceremonies were even more noteworthy.

By the end of the two days of pomp and circumstance, President Gonzalez presided over the awarding of degrees to more than 75,000 graduates during the course of his 12-year tenure.

Lester Holt

    Lester Holt

Adding to the celebration, Spring Commencement 2015 included the presentation of an honorary doctorate to television journalist and alumnus Lester Holt and President’s Medals for Distinguished Service to five exemplary campus volunteers: alumni Margot Bach ’72, Gary Quattrin ’65, Holly Tiche ’89 and Tina Treis ’80 and community supporter Sonney Chong.

Lester Holt: Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

NBC News anchor Lester Holt received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the California State University system and Sac State during the College of Arts and Letters ceremony on Saturday, May 23.

Holt is an award-winning journalist. He co-anchors the weekend edition of the “Today” show and is the weekend and substitute anchor for “NBC Nightly News.” In addition, he anchors “Dateline NBC”, contributes to the cable news network MSNBC and continues to report from the field on stories of national and international significance.

After studying government at Sacramento State, Holt began his more than 30-year career in news. His work on the CBS News program “48 Hours” earned him a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award and he was part of the “Today” anchor team that won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Morning Program. In 2013, he received a Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment award from the Radio Television Digital News Association, given to someone who has made a major contribution to the protection of First Amendment freedoms.

President’s Medals for Distinguished Service

President Gonzalez awards the Medal for Distinguished Service at spring commencement ceremonies to recognize outstanding service to Sacramento State.

The Medal is not awarded every year, and it is reserved for individuals who have made the highest, and most positive, impact on Sacramento State. Previous honorees are beloved University figures including Bill ’67, MBA’70 and Margie Campbell, Larry Cook ’65, George Crandell, Mark Drobny, Felix Fernandez, Coach Bob Mattos ’65, Scott Maxwell ’85 and Pam Stewart.

This year, President Gonzalez awarded the Medal for Distinguished Service to:

Margot Bach '72 (English), speechwriter for California Treasurer John Chiang. She was the former ombudsman for Pelican Bay State Prison and the senior public information officer for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. She serves on the board of The University Foundation at Sacramento State, was co-chair of the Alumni Center Campaign and was a member of the 2015 Green & Gold Gala Planning Committee. She served 11 years on the Sacramento State Alumni Association Board of Directors, including as president from 2012-2013. She continues to serve on the Alumni Association Scholarship Committee. 

Margot Bach

Sonney Chong, dentist with a private practice in Sacramento. He is a member of the board of directors of The University Foundation at Sacramento State and has served on the board of directors of University Enterprises, Inc., the President’s Executive Committee for the Nursing Campaign and the Sacramento State Community Council. He is a lifetime member of the Sacramento State Alumni Association, which named him an Honorary Alumnus in 2005. 

Sonney Chong

 

Gary Quattrin '65 (Physical Education),retired attorney and a board member for F.P.I. Management. He is on the board of The University Foundation at Sacramento State and has served on the boards of the Sacramento State Alumni Association, where he was the president from 1978-1979, and the stinger Athletic Association. He received the Distinguished Service Award and Order of the Hornet in 1991 and has been inducted into the Hornet Football Hall of Fame. 

Gary Quattrin

Holly Tiche '89 (Accountancy)principal with Tiche Consulting and former president of the Placer Ranch development. She serves as secretary and co-chair of the governance committee for The University Foundation at Sacramento State. In addition, she was on the President’s Executive Committee for the Alumni Campaign and a key member of the President’s Executive Committee for the Eli and Edythe Broad Fieldhouse. She received the Distinguished Service Award in 2010.

Tiche

Tina Treis '80 (Accountancy), partner in Crowe Horwath LLP. For 11 years, she was a board member for the Sacramento State Alumni Association and its president from 2006-07. She serves as chief financial officer and co-chair of the governance committee for The University Foundation at Sacramento State and was on the President’s Executive Committee for the Alumni Campaign. She received the Distinguished Service Award in 2011.

Treis

Chong received his medal during the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics ceremony on Friday, May 22. Bach’s medal was awarded at the Arts and Letters ceremony, Quattrin’s at the Health and Human Services ceremony, and Tiche’s and Treis’ at the College of Business Administration ceremony, all on Saturday, May 23.

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