• Shaking hands

    Connecting alumni to each other and to current students

  • CSUN fans in the stands

    Building Matador pride and spirit

  • Photo of 2014 DAA recipients

    Honoring and showcasing alumni of distinction

  • CSUN graduates at commencement

    Helping alumni achieve personal and professional success

  • Spirited CSUN students

    Strengthening resources and philanthropic support

  • CSUN president with alumni in China

    Engaging volunteers and leaders and advocates

Distinguished Alumni Awards Program

Recognizing outstanding alumni is one way the Alumni Association shows its commitment to showcasing the impact of Cal State Northridge on the personal and professional lives of its graduates and the community in which it serves. These honorees represent the thousands of alumni who contribute in countless ways to business, education, the arts and society. These individuals have been honored because they personify the University's tradition of excellence, bringing distinction to themselves and to Cal State Northridge through their outstanding achievements.


Judy Baca ’69, M.A.’80 (Art)

Paul Jennings ’85 (Marketing)

Donald Petrie ’76 (Theatre)

2014 Honorees

Bill Imada '84 (Human Resource Management)
is founder, chairman and chief collaboration officer of IW Group, one of the foremost minority-owned-and-operated advertising, marketing and communications agencies focusing on growing multicultural markets.

Philip Tauber '68 (Music) and Gayle Tauber '72 (Political Science)
are a genuine dynamic duo. They bring a driving passion to everything they do. The have created several businesses, most notably, Kashi Company, an innovative natural food product enterprise that grew into an international company.


Diane Manzella '72 (Speech Communication)
is a pioneer in the fields of audiology and speech pathology. Her practice has quickly grown to provide rehabilitation services in 12 states with more than 350 employees.



2013 Honorees

Rebecca Mieliwocki
2001 Secondary English Education Credential
National Teacher of the Year for 2012


Ravi Sawhney
1979 Bachelor of Arts, Art Three Dimension
Creative visionary and industrial designer


George Leis
1981 Bachelor of Science, Geography
President and CEO of Union Bank's Central Coast Region



2012 Honorees

Joan Chen '92 Bachelor of Arts,
Radio, Television, Film
Award-Winning Actress

John Harris
1972 Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
CSO of Nestle' Waters

Richard Kaufman
1977 Bachelor of Arts, Music
Internationally Renowned Conductor



2011 Honorees

Don Hahn
1975 Bachelor of Arts, Music
Animated Film Producer

Carol Vaness
1976 Bachelor of Arts, Music, 1998 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts
Opera Singer

Irv Zakheim
1971 Bachelor of Science, Physical Education
Founder, Zak Designs; a worldwide leader in licensed children's dinnerware

2010 Honorees

Lauren Leichtman
1972 Bachelor of Science, Psychology
CEO and Founding Principal of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners

Robert M. Myman
1967 Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
Founding partner of Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox & Light LLP; a leading entertainment law firm

Diane Warren
1978 Music
Grammy award-winning songwriter and owner of Realsongs; the most successful female-owned and operated business in the music industry

2009 Honorees

Harvey Bookstein
1970 Bachelor of Science, Business Administration
One of California's most respected Accountants

James Otero
1973 Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
Judge, United States District Court (Central California Division)

Debra Farar
1975 Bachelor of Arts, English, 1987 Master of Arts, Education
Past Chair & Member of the Board of Trustees of The California State University

2008 Honorees


Teri Garr
1964 Theatre
Motion Picture and Television Actress and Comedian


Bill Handel
1973 Bachelor of Arts, Political Science

KFI Radio Host and Marconi Award Winner


Adriana Ocampo Uria
1997 Master of Science, Geology

NASA Scientist and Program Executive

2007 Honorees


James Berk
1981 Bachelor of Arts, Music

Chief Executive Officer of Participant Productions


Brad Bowlus                               
1978 Bachelor of Science, Accounting

President and Chief Executive Officer at PacifiCare Health Plan Division


Michael Klausman
1974 Bachelor of Arts, Biology

Senior Vice President, CBS Corporation West Coast Operations and Engineering and President of the CBS Studio Center

2006 Honorees


Grant Ashley
1978 Bachelor of Science, Accounting

Former Executive Assistant Director of Law Enforcement Services for the FBI


Mike Curb
1963 Music

Chairman of Curb Records and Former Lt. Governor of California


Mory Ejabat
1976 Bachelor of Science, Engineering
1979 Master of Science, Industrial Engineering

Chair and CEO of Zhone Technologies

2005 Honorees


Larry Feldman
1966 Bachelor of Science, Business Administration

Distinguished Trial Lawyer 


Barbara Fairchild
1972 Bachelor of Arts, Journalism

Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit magazine


Scott Horowitz
1978 Bachelor of Science, Engineering

Former NASA Astronaut

2004 Honorees


Ron Insana
1984 Bachelor of Arts, Radio-Television-Film

Journalist and wealth advisor


Linda Lingle
1975 Bachelor of Arts, Journalism

Governor of Hawaii


Richard "Cheech" Marin
1978 English

Actor, Director, Comedian, Art Collector

2003 Honorees


Sue Herera
1980 Bachelor of Arts, Journalism

CNBC News Anchor


Vincent Barabba
1962 Bachelor of Science, Marketing

Former Head of Strategic Decision Center, General Motors

2002 Honorees


Lynn Doll
1983 Bachelor of Arts, Journalism

President, National Public Relations Agency


Charles Noski
1973 Bachelor of Science, Business Administration
1995 Masters of Science, Accounting

Retired Chair at AT&T


Patsy Flanigan (Deceased)
1979 Bachelor of Science, Home Economics

President of Flanigan Farms and Natural Foods Advocate

2001 Honorees


Daniel Chernow
1967 Bachelor of Arts, History
1989 Master of Arts, Education

UCLA School of Management Founder and Director


Steve Howard
1977 Bachelor of Arts, Theatre

Multi-Emmy Award Winner for Costume Design


Bob Miller
1976 Theatre

Multi-Emmy Award Winner for Costume Design


Lois Roberts
1971 Master of Arts, History

Respected Historian, Sociologist and Anthropologist

2000 Honorees


Michael Day
1988 Bachelor of Science, Chemistry
1990 Masters of Science, Chemistry

Caltech Scientist


Bill Griffeth
1980 Bachelor of Arts, Journalism

CNBC News Anchor and Author


Irene Tovar
1969 Bachelor of Science, Sociolog

Social Sciences Trail Blazer

1999 Honorees


Yvonne Chan
Master of Arts, Special Education, 1976

Charter School Pioneer and Principal


Frank del Olmo  (Deceased)
1970 Bachelor of Arts, Journalism

Pulitzer Prize winner and Associate Editor of the Los Angeles Times


Dirk Gates
1983 Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering

Former President and CEO of Xircom

Previous Years Honorees


Nikolas Patsaouras
1966 Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering

Owner of Nikolas Patsaouras and Associates, a West Los Angeles Engineering Firm


Stephen Crossland
1967 Bachelor of Science, Business
1970 Masters of Science, Business

President and CEO of International Collegiate Enterprises


Claire Bleiman
1971 Bachelor of Arts, History

Secretary, San Fernando Valley State College History Department


Frank St. Denis
1958 Bachelor of Science, Business


C. Robert Kimberling
1972 Bachelor of Arts, English
1976 Master of Arts, Mass Communications

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education


Robert Hiegert
1964 Bachelor of Arts, Physical Education
1968 Master of Arts, Physical Education

Director of Athletics, Cal State Northridge


John Golisch
1972 Bachelor of Science, Business

Co-Owner of Arthur Anderson and Company


Judge Julian Beck
Friend of the University

Former California Assemblyman


Joe Buttitta
1964 Bachelor of Arts, Journalism

Director of Sports, KTLA