Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez has won the Ohtli Award, the Mexican government’s highest honor for leaders of Mexican descent.
Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez.
“Ohtli” is a Nahuat/Aztec word meaning “path.” The award recognizes Gonzalez’ efforts to pave the way for and improve the well-being of new generations of Mexicans in California.
He has served as chair of the Governing Board of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and as a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.
The Consul General of Mexico, Carlos González Gutiérrez, presented the award during a reception Monday, Nov. 5, at the Sacramento State Alumni Center.
“I am deeply honored to receive the Ohtli Award,” says President Gonzalez, “and I thank Consul General Carlos González Gutiérrez and his colleagues in the Mexican government for this distinction.
“At Sacramento State, we are very proud of our strong connections to the communities we serve, and the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento is an important partner in our work to provide outstanding educational opportunities for the students of California,” he says.
Photographs of President Gonzalez taken during the ceremony will be placed in the Mexican Consulate’s permanent photography collection “Mexicans and the Shaping of the Sacramento Valley.”
Gonzalez will celebrate a decade as Sacramento State’s 11th president in 2013.
Gonzalez spent 18 years at Fresno State as a faculty member, department chair and provost. He was president of CSU San Marcos for six years before coming to Sacramento State as president in 2003.
After serving four years in the Air Force, he earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Pomona College on the G.I. Bill. He earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in psychology from UC Santa Cruz and went on to serve as a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University. He also attended Harvard Law School.
Earlier this year, Gonzalez launched Redefine the Possible, an initiative to make Sacramento State a university for the 21st century. Under his leadership, the number of underrepresented minority students enrolled as undergraduates at Sacramento State has steadily increased.
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– Dixie Reid