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Distinguished Alumni Awards Sac State Alumni Association

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Distinguished Alumni Awards

About the Awards

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Each year since 1972, the Sacramento State Alumni Association honors accomplished alumni and friends through the Distinguished Alumni Awards (DAA). The Order of the Hornet Award was presented from 1972-1985. In 1987, the awards became known as the Distinguished Service Awards, periodically giving Order of the Hornet (*) designation to selected recipients.

Distinguished Service Award

Given in recognition of professional achievements and community service. Nominees must have achieved prominence in their chosen field and brought distinction to the University and/or their community through their accomplishments.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Given to alumni for exceptional career achievements, exceptional contributions to the campus and community, and for setting high standards of excellence in their personal and professional lives.

Honorary Alumni Awards

Given to friends of the University who have demonstrated a close affinity to the campus and who have rendered exceptional support and leadership to the University or Association.

Rising Star Award

Given to a recent graduate of Sacramento State who has made outstanding contributions professionally, to the community or to Sacramento State.


Nominations for the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Awards are now open. As you think of alumni that you would like to see honored with an award, please review the four award types to frame your submission. The nomination deadline is Monday, April 15, 2024 by 5 p.m.

Please contact Jennifer Barber at with any questions.

Submit a Nomination

NOTE: Current Alumni Association Board Directors, Chapter Leaders or others in key Association leadership positions are not eligible for consideration during their active term.


If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Awards program, please contact Jennifer Barber at or (916) 278-4723. Updated 2024 sponsor opportunities will be posted by May 2024. Click below for an example of past opportunities.

Download our 2023 sponsorship opportunities

Distinguished Alumni Awards Tickets

You're invited

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Thursday, November 7, at 5:30 p.m.
Harper Alumni Center | Sacramento State

Join us as we honor exceptional alumni for professional achievement and contributions to the community. Honorees represent the University's values in action. The event starts with a reception followed by dinner and the awards presentation. This year the silent auction supporting scholarships will be hosted online and open to all to participate, even if they are not attending the event.

Tickets will go on sale late spring/early summer.

Learn about our 2023 DAA Honorees

Distinguished Alumni Awards Honorees

Distinguished Service Award

  1. Dr. Robin Carter ’77, MSW ’82 (Social Work), Retired, Dean of Health and Human Services, Sacramento State

  2. Dr. Viridiana Diaz ’02, Ed.D. ’12 (Communication Studies/Educational Leadership), Vice President, Student Affairs, Cal State San Marcos

  3. Daniel P. Hahn ’95 (Business/Marketing), Sacramento Police Chief (Ret.)

  4. Scott Robertson ’93 (Business/Marketing), Sr. Vice President, Chief Community Banking Officer, Tri Counties Bank

  5. Dr. Margaret Washington ’68 (History), Professor Emeritus, Cornell University

Rising Star Award

  • Elizabeth Gabler ’19 (Physics), Neutron Radiographer, McClellan Nuclear Research Center

Honorary Alumnus Award

  • Bob Olsen, Chair, Board of Directors, PRIDE Industries, Retired, Co-founder Deacon Construction