Hornet Aluminaries

Tim Murphy ’91 (Government)

In 1976, the presidential campaign between candidates Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford filled the airwaves. Live debates shaped the opinions of viewers across the country including a young Tim Murphy ’91 (Government), who sat captivated in the living room of his East Sacramento home.

"Having grown up here and always being exposed to politics and government, I developed an interest around age nine or 10," Murphy says. "I remember that presidential election and how my opinions then kind of framed what I turned out to be politically."

That early exposure influenced Murphy's choice to major in government at Sac State where he developed skills he says he still calls upon today.

"In addition to receiving a great education, I became president of the interfraternity council, so being a leader in an organization is something I learned at Sac State," says the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the Sacramento State Alumni Association.

An internship at the California Senate Republican Caucus sealed the deal for Murphy's future in policy and government relations. But a public outreach contract at McClellan Air Force Base is where Murphy says he built a foundation for his most impactful job to date: as director of public affairs for Rancho Cordova-based rocket maker Aerojet.

"It's kind of hard to throw a rock in this town without hitting someone who worked at Aerojet back in the heyday. My dad, my uncle and my best friend's father all worked there," Murphy says. And that job at Aerojet brought Murphy's wife's family here from Oklahoma. "I was destined to work there."

In his 15 years at Aerojet, Murphy was instrumental in gaining approval for the eventual development of approximately 6,000 acres of land between Aerojet's manufacturing operations and the community. Inaccessible for generations, the land will include housing and commercial development, as well as open space connecting to the American River Parkway.

"For a site that was perceived to have major environmental issues operating behind a barbed wire fence, I'm proud that we got approval for the first set of entitlements without any objections from the environmental or residential community," he says.

While no longer at Aerojet, land plans and blueprints are still very much in play for Murphy in his new role as CEO of the Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange.

"I understand construction and development and thought this would be a really great organization with a great history," says Murphy of the 114-year old construction industry advocacy association. " I saw it as being a really positive sign that my grandfather had been a member of the exchange. And being a lifelong Sacramentan, I find those connections frequently and really value them."

This article was originally published in the Spring 2016 edition of Sac State Magazine.

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