Beverly Gerth, former first lady of Sacramento State, is the 2019 recipient of the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service. She is to be honored during the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies commencement ceremonies at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19.
Gerth actively served alongside her husband, Donald R. Gerth, who was Sac State’s president from 1984 to 2003, and is part of her husband’s 45-year California State University legacy. She worked with Donald on a book, “The People’s University,” which has been described as the definitive history of the CSU system.
Donald Gerth was hired at San Francisco State in 1958 and went on to serve several CSU positions. While at Sac State, the Gerths led the establishment of the School of Arts, guided nearly $100 million in building modernization, and added 1.2 million square feet of building to campus.
The couple has been honored with two archives and special collections libraries named for them, at Sac State and at CSU Dominguez Hills, where Donald Gerth also served as president.
“It has been my honor to get to know Bev over the past four years and to be able to count on her wise counsel,” said Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen. “The impact that she and Don have had on higher education and on the CSU as a whole is remarkable.” – Cynthia Hubert