California State University, Sacramento

Based on real user feedback and statistics, no longer supports Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Skip to Main Content

News and Top Stories

Story Content

Sacramento State’s annual Distinguished Alumni Awards honor seven outstanding members of the campus community

The 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients were honored with a reception and dinner Thursday, Oct. 19, at Sac State's Harper Alumni Center. Back row, left to right: Viridiana Diaz, Sac State President Luke Wood, Robin Carter, Elizabeth Gabler. Front row, left to right: Scott Robertson, Bob Olsen, Daniel Hahn. Not pictured: Margaret Washington. (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)

Once a year, Sacramento State honors alumni and others who highlight and represent the University’s values by making outstanding campus, community, and societal contributions.

The Sac State Alumni Association has recognized the accomplishments of such contributing individuals since 1972 with the Distinguished Alumni Awards.

This year, the Alumni Association selected seven people to receive awards, including five Distinguished Service Awards, which recognize professional achievements and community service. Additionally, a Rising Star Award goes to an up-and-coming recent graduate, and the Honorary Alumnus Award recognizes an individual who is not a Sac State alum but has made significant contributions to the University.

An awards ceremony, which included a reception and dinner, in honor of this year’s recipients was held Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Harper Alumni Center.

Click each name to read more about the award recipients.

Distinguished Service Awards

Robin Carter ’77, MSW ’82 (Social Work)

Retired dean of the College of Health and Human Services, Sacramento State

Robin Carter found her life’s calling at Sacramento State, where she earned two degrees, became a professor of Social Work, and held various administrative positions. A member of the board of directors for the Sacramento Regional Family Justice Center, she strongly believes in community service, something her parents emphasized when she was growing up.

Viridiana Diaz ’02, Ed.D. ’12 (Communication Studies/Educational Leadership)

Former associate vice president of Strategic Support Programs, Sacramento State

Viridiana Diaz, who earned four degrees at Sac State and rose to serve as its associate vice president of Strategic Support Programs, is modeling the University’s culture as vice president of Student Affairs at CSU San Marcos.

Daniel P. Hahn ’95 (Business/Marketing)

Sacramento State Criminal Justice lecturer and retired police chief

Daniel Hahn, who earned a Marketing degree from Sac State, is a retired member of local law enforcement. Hahn broke racial barriers, serving as the first Black police chief in Roseville and Sacramento. He continues to teach Criminal Justice courses at Sac State.

Scott Robertson ’93 (Business/Marketing)

Senior vice president of Tri Counties Bank

Scott Robertson is the senior vice president of Tri Counties Bank, where he started as a teller during his final year at Sac State. Robertson, who holds a Business Administration degree from Sac State, led efforts to bring free financial health information and workshops to campus.

Margaret Washington ’68 (History)

Retired professor of history and bestselling author

Margaret Washington, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Sac State and served in administrative roles and taught at the University, is a historian, professor, lecturer, and advocate. She has dedicated her career to educating people on the experiences of Black Americans, women, and others and has made significant impacts on the Sac State campus community.

Rising Star Award

Elizabeth Gabler ’19 (Physics)

Neutron radiographer at McClellan Nuclear Research Center

Physics alumna Elizabeth Gabler has been named one of the world’s top young scientists. She works on NASA’s Artemis mission while still finding time to volunteer at the Sac State Planetarium and her hometown observatory.

Honorary Alumnus Award

Bob Olsen

Chair of the PRIDE Industries board of directors and retired co-founder of construction company Deacon

Bob Olsen, who holds two bachelor's degrees from Oregon State University, may not have graduated from Sacramento State, but his contributions to the University’s Construction Management program and the local business community make him a part of the Hornet Family.


For more information about the Distinguished Alumni Awards, visit the Sacramento State Alumni Association web page.

A graphic depicting the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award winners on a green and gold background with thumbnail images of each recipient.
The 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Left to right: Distinguished Service Award recipients Robin Carter, Viridiana Diaz, Daniel Hahn, Scott Robertson and Margaret Washington; Rising Star Award recipient Elizabeth Gabler; and Honorary Alumnus Award recipient Bob Olsen. (Graphic courtesy Sac State Alumni Association)


Share This Story

url copied!

About Daniel Wilson

Daniel Wilson joined the Sac State communications team in 2022 as a writer and editor. He previously worked at the Sacramento Bee as an audience engagement producer and reporter. He graduated from Sac State with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism in 2018. He plays video games, watches pro wrestling, and loves spending time with his wife and cat.

Editor's Pick

Media Resources

Faculty/Staff Resources

Looking for a Faculty Expert?

Contact University Communications
(916) 217-8366