2014 Distinguished Service Award recipient
Chris Higdon '85 (Business Administration)
Like father, like son… and brother and wife and brother-in-law and sister-in-law.
Chris Higdon’s ties to Sac State are seemingly endless, but it’s his generosity and undying school spirit that made him a recipient of a Distinguished Service Award for 2014.
“Sac State was engrained in me, but it wasn’t like my father or brother or anyone said, ‘You’ve got to go to Sac State,’” Higdon says. “It’s our hometown university and I just had a natural bond. I didn’t really consider going anywhere else.”
Chris’ father Jack Higdon ‘52 (Business Administration-Accountancy) played baseball for the Hornets. He founded California Moving Systems in 1967 and received his own Distinguished Service Award in 2006.
Chris is now the president and CEO of California Moving Systems. He’s led the company’s evolution over the years and he’s followed his father’s lead in giving back to Sac State, any way he can.
“The unique thing about Sac State is they give you opportunities to contribute in ways that you’re comfortable with,” Higdon says. “I don’t have a huge bankroll, but I can offer my expertise, my back, my trucks and my moving people.”
Higdon served as president of the Sac State Alumni Association in 2010-11 and remains connected. He is a co-chair of President Gonzalez’s Executive Committee and served on the College of Business Administration Advisory Council.
Higdon’s also not afraid to get his hands dirty. His company lends a decked-out truck to the Hornet football team each fall, assuring its equipment makes it to each road game, which range from Arizona to North Dakota.
It wasn’t always so smooth. Sac State football coach Marshall Sperbeck called Higdon six years ago after the team’s communication equipment didn’t make it to a game in Colorado. Higdon was quick to offer his services.
Besides transporting Hornet gear, California Moving Systems specializes in moving and storage for businesses, relocating corporate and professional offices, product distribution, business record storage and moving household goods for Fortune 500 company employees.
“We always had to be nimble,” Higdon says. “In school I learned its important to get involved in a lot of different revenue streams and diversify your business by being educated and realizing there are other options than just your main focus.”
Higdon says he was hesitant to work for his family until one of his teachers at Rio Americano High School gave him some sound advice.
“We were talking about career paths one day and I said, ‘I don’t really want to go into the family business. My dad does it, my brother does it, I want to do something else,’” Higdon says. “But he told me, ‘You could make it better.’ That’s always something that’s stuck with me and it’s served me well.”
Higdon is one of 12 family members to attend Sac State. He met his wife Maria in an Introduction to Finance class. Maria’s brother Harry Theodorides is a professor in the physical therapy department.
Among his Sac State highlights, Higdon treasures the two trips he made to China with President Alexander Gonzalez and other University representatives. He truly appreciates the school’s journey, and its future growth.
“I’m just so proud of everything that’s been accomplished since President Gonzalez arrived, and the planning that took place before he got here,” Higdon says. “A lot of it came from the alumni. Everyone wants to see their campus get better and it certainly has, by leaps and bounds.”