Athletes: Joe Batiste, Larry Bowa, James Campen, Ken Forsch, Emerson Harvey, Akiem Hicks, Earl Hoos, Sherwood Johnson, Tommy Kono, Buck Martinez, John McNamara, David Pacheco, Chris Petersen, Geno Petralli, Richard Pierucci, George Stanich, Greg Vaughn ,Seneca Wallace, Jerry Weinstein
American Culture: Michael Adams, Colonel Clarence Bud Anderson, Herb Caen, Jessica Chastain, Joan Didion, Fred Foote, Ted Morse, Kiyo Sato, Captain Francis Wai
Art and Music: Edward Azevedo, David Burnam, Fred Dalkey, George Esquibel, Darrel Forney, Gregory Kondos, Wayne Thiebaud
Faculty, Staff and Other Alumni: Lloyd Bruno, Jack Halligan, Robert Heisleman, Dr. Ruth Heitfeld, Jaime Samuels, Dr. David Warren, Joan Haug-West
Law and Politics: The Honorable Morrison Cohen England, The Honorable Lauren Hammond, David K. Marty, The Honorable John E. Moss, The Honorable Albert S. Rodda, The Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye
Healthcare and Science:Paul Clerkin, George Kambara, John Ortego, Dr. Heather Young
Business and Technology: Margarita Colmenares, Sherwood “Shakey” Johnson, Elton Rule, Russ Solomon, Roger Valine, Melvin Venter
Track and Field, 1941, Attended SCC 1919-1958
SJC track and field star Joe Batiste was the standout of SJC’s 1941 national junior college championship track team (NJCAA). He competed in seven events and scored 49 of SJC’s 95 points. He was the national champion in the high jump and the 220 yard low hurdles. All American Joe Batiste was also co-winner of the Outstanding Athlete Award at the event. In 1942, Batiste led SJC to the state championship as well as their second consecutive national championship. Undoubtedly the greatest track and field competitor that Sacramento Junior/City College has enjoyed, Batiste was named to the 1940 U.S. Olympic Team which sadly was never able to compete because of World War II.
Baseball, Attended SCC 1964-1965
Larry Bowa played shortstop and was a former manager, and coach in Major League Baseball. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and New York Mets; managed the San Diego Padres and Phillies, and is currently the Phillies’ bench coach.
Football, Attended SCC 1981-1982
James Campen is a former American football center in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers. Currently he is the offensive line coach for the Green Bay Packers.
Basketball/Baseball, Attended SCC 1964-1967
Ken Forsch was selected by the Houston Astros and later played for the California Angels. On April 7, 1979, Forsch pitched a no-hitter at the Atlanta Braves 6–0 at the Astrodome. His brother Bob, who also pitched for the Astros, hurled two no-hitters while with the St. Louis Cardinals, making them the only set of brothers to pitch no-hit no-run games in MLB history.
An SCC football player in the 1930’s, Emerson Harvey was the first black football player at Arizona State University.
Defensive Lineman on Football team, Attended 2008
Akiem Hicks is a football defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and has also played for the New England Patriots. He played college football at Sacramento City College in 2008.
Hoos Pool at SCC was named for Coach Earl Hoos, who coached swimming and water polo at the college from 1946-1979.
John “Spider” Jorgenson was an SJC baseball player in 1939 and 1941. He was the starting third baseman in the game where Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.
Weightlifter, Attended SCC 1948
Tommy Kono was a two-time gold Olympian weight lifter and Sacramento native who died in Honolulu this year at age 85. During World War II, Kono’s family was sent to the Japanese internment camp at Tule Lake at the age of 12. Mr. Kono began his career in weightlifting at the YMCA and SJC. “He’s one of the greatest of all time”, said a spokesperson for the Pacific Weightlifting Association.
Baseball, Attended SCC 1967
John Albert “Buck” Martinez is an American former professional baseball catcher and manager, and is currently the television play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays. He played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Kansas City Royals, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Toronto Blue Jays. Since the end of his playing career, he has been a broadcaster, working on Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles radio and television broadcasts, and nationally for TBS.
Baseball, Attended SCC 1951
John is a former manager and coach in Major League Baseball. He managed six major league teams, directing the 1986 Boston Red Sox to the American League pennant.
Former SCC student and long-time SCC wrestling coach David Pacheco is to be named to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame—California Chapter. His distinguished career at SCC began in 1982. One of the most prominent characteristics of Coach Pacheco’s style is the way that he knows his wrestlers and their individual stories. He takes this understanding and coaches the person not just the wrestler. He also supports his wrestlers in their academics, and it shows each year with the number of Academic All-American that he produces.
Quarterback on Football team, Attended SCC 1984-1985
Mr. Petersen played quarterback for the SCC Panthers for two seasons. He currently is the head coach at the University of Washington. Previously, he was the head coach for eight seasons at Boise State University, Petersen guided the Broncos to two BCS bowl wins, the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. He is the first and only two-time winner of the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award, which he won in 2006 and 2009. Petersen also won the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award in 2010.
Baseball, Attended SCC 1977-1978
Geno Petralli played for the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers, both of Major League Baseball’s American League, for part of twelve seasons from 1982 to 1993. Primarily a catcher, he also played first base, second base, third base, outfield and designated hitter.
Former Dean of Physical Education and Health, Coach for Football and Baseball, Attended and/or worked at SCC 1961-1993
Richard Pierucci coached football and baseball and served as the athletic director and department chairman. He also initiated the wrestling program at Sac City. Richard was also recognized for his outstanding officiating and leadership by the Woodland wrestling community, the Sac-Joaquin Section and the Northern California Officials Association Executive Board. He concluded his career at SCC by serving as the Dean of Physical Education & Health.
Track and field, Baseball, Basketball
Voted as the greatest all-around athlete in SCC history, George Stanich won a bronze medal in the high jump in the 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London. At SCC he lettered in baseball, basketball, and track and field during the 1946-47 school year. He was the leading scorer for the basketball team, the top pitcher on the baseball team and the top high jumper in the state, while also competing in the hurdles. Stanich became the first of John Wooden’s All-Americans at UCLA and later a professional baseball pitcher in the Pacific Coast League for the Oakland Oaks. Stanich was also a successful basketball coach and P.E. teacher at El Camino College.
Baseball, Attended SCC 1984-1985
Greg Vaughn was drafted by Milwaukee and later played for San Diego, Cincinnati, Tampa Bay, and the Colorado Rockies. He had three seasons with at least 100 runs batted in, and four with 30 or more home runs.
Quarterback on Football team, Attended SCC 1999-2000
After attending SCC, Mr. Wallace went to Iowa State. He was later drafted by Seattle and played for the Seahawks, Browns, Saints, 49ers and Packers. He attended SCC at his mother’s request to stay closer to home.
Long recognized as an outstanding baseball coach, Jerry Weinstein captured the attention of professional and collegiate baseball teams throughout the country for his ability to develop talent in young players. His success with the SCC Panthers is evident in SCC’s ranking in the California community college top 10 every season throughout the 80s and 90s. His teams have averaged 33 wins a year in his 19 years with the Panthers. Weinstein was selected to coach the U.S. team in the 1987 Pan Am Games and served as a coach for the U.S. Olympic team in 1996.
NASA Test Pilot
SCC graduate Michael Adams (1930-1967) was a NASA test pilot and flew the X-15 in seven experimental flights. He served in the Korean War, studied at SCC and later MIT. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Astronaut status.
Colonel Clarence Bud Anderson
United States Air Force
Colonel Clarence Bud Anderson is a WW II Triple Ace fighter pilot and a veteran military experimental test pilot. During WW II he served two combat tours escorting heavy bombers over Europe in the P-51 Mustang, November 1943 through January 1945. He flew 116 combat missions (480 hrs) and destroyed 16 and 1/4 enemy aircraft in aerial combat and another one on the ground. He has an extensive flight testing background spanning a 25 year period. He is featured in the History Channel “Dog Fight” series and the Military Channel “Showdown: Air Combat.”
Columnist, Attended SCC 1939
Herbert Eugene “Herb” Caen (April 3, 1916 – February 1, 1997) was a San Francisco journalist whose daily column of local goings-on and insider gossip, social and political happenings, painful puns and offbeat anecdotes— “a continuous love letter to San Francisco”—appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle for almost sixty years (except a relatively brief defection to the San Francisco Examiner) and made him a household name throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Caen was a former “items” columnist for the school newspaper Pony Express, writing a column called “The College Tattler” , “and went on to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist.
Actress, Attended SCC 1996 to1997
Born in Sacramento, California, Jessica Chastain attended Juilliard and then began landing roles on TV shows such as ER and Veronica Mars. Her acting career took off in 2011 when she appeared in the blockbuster The Help, earning a supporting actress Oscar nod for the role, and the lauded Tree of Life. She has since won a Golden Globe and earned another Academy Award nomination, specifically for lead actress in the Kathryn Bigelow film Zero Dark Thirty. Additional projects include Interstellar, A Most Violent Year and Crimson Peak. Chastain was an SCC student (1996-97), acting in the City Theatre production of “Charles’s Aunt” directed by Kim McKann. While at the college Chastain also participated in the SCC Debate Team.
Joan Didion is an American writer who was born and raised in Sacramento. Her first published book, a collection of essays entitled “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” dealt with her thoughts on the American counter culture of the 1960s. The New York Times Book Review called it “some of the best prose written today in this country.” Didion was one of the recipients of the National Medal of Arts and Humanities in 2013, which were awarded by Pres. Barack Obama. The following year she was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
Sacramento Civil Rights Activist
Fred Foote influenced the SCC campus by advocating for student rights during the turbulent 1960’s. Foote has devoted his life to peace, justice, human rights, and student power issues in the Sacramento community. Foote attended SCC during the turbulent 1960’s and influenced the SCC campus by advocating for student rights and was instrumental in establishing the Black Student Union, Third World Liberation, Sacramento Area Black Caucus, and The Oak Park School of Afro-American Thought.
Foreign Service Officer
Ted Morse, a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer devoted much of his career to economic development in Third World countries. The 1957 SCC graduate served as student body president and president of the California Junior College Student Government Association. He has 36 years of experience with the Agency for International Development
Kiyo Sato was one of many Japanese American students at SJC in 1942 who were interned under President Roosevelt’s Executive Relocation Order aimed at those with Japanese ancestry. Born in 1923, Sato tells the story of her family in her book, Kiyo’s Story, a pertinent reminder of the historic and unjust treatment of her family and countless others who were relocated to camps during World War II. Sato’s relocation was to Tule Lake. In 2008 Sato received the prestigious Saroyan Award from Stanford University and the Saroyan Foundation.
Captain Francis Wai
Medal of Honor winner, attended 1936-1937
Francis Wai attended Sacramento Junior College from 1936 – 1937, where he played quarterback in Panther football and became a championship boxer. He was awarded the medal posthumously as the Distinguished Service Cross (later upgraded to the Medal of Honor). Captain Francis B. Wai distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action, on 20 October 1944, in Leyte, Philippine Islands. Captain Wai landed at Red Beach, Leyte, in the face of accurate, concentrated enemy fire from gun positions advantageously located in a palm grove bounded by submerged rice paddies. Read More…
Edward Azevedo was a commercial artist who designed some of the most recognizable logos in the country. He created advertising and package designs for Nestle Foods, Brach’s, Montgomery Ward, Old Style Beer and Dow Chemical Co. Azevedo also designed logos for Kellogg’s and Igloo coolers. Edward F. Azevedo, 54 died, Oct. 25, 2001.
Conductor, musician, faculty member
David Burnam began teaching music at SJC in 1926. Mr. Burnam was a very talented conductor, composer, violinist, and music professor at SJC. He played the violin throughout his high school years and finally specialized in conducting and composing at the University of Washington, where he received his B.A. degree in 1926 and his M.A. degree in 1930. Inferno, from one of the SJC’s Art Ball pageants in 1937, was a Burnam composition and played for local audiences by the symphony orchestra.
Artist, Attended SCC 1960-1962, Member of faculty 1969 to 2006
Fred Dalkey was a student of Gregory Kondos in the early 1960s and, after earning a master’s degree at Sacramento State, he returned to SCC, where he taught for 40 years. He has shown at the Crocker Art Museum, Paul Thiebaud Gallery, The Art Company and the Artists Contemporary Gallery to name a few.
An SCC faculty member since 1972, George Esquibel recently designed and coordinated the Les Read Memorial Art Waterfall located in the Art Court. Dedicated to SCC teachers, the waterfall took seven years to complete, with much of the work donated by Esquibel. He not only created a work of art, but also spearheaded a project supported by students, staff, faculty and the community. Esquibel is credited with the introduction of the ceramic process Rau to SCC students, giving them the opportunity to produce beautiful examples of this Japanese style of ceramic firing.
SCC Art student and teacher
According to the Express newspaper, “Forney’s roots at City College went deeper than his 35 years teaching generations of art students. He attended the school when it was still known as Sacramento Junior College, studying with artists Wayne Thiebaud and Gregory Kondos. He returned to join the faculty in 1966, after receiving a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, in 1962, and a master’s in fine arts from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, in 1965.”
Artist, Attended SCC 1941 and member of faculty 1956 to 1982
Recognized as one of the world’s most prominent California landscape artists, Gregory Kondos has won numerous prizes and has works in permanent collections of many museums, including the Yosemite Museum. Among his solo exhibitions is a recent retrospective at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. His paintings, drawings and prints have been described by Art Harlow, Director of the Hearst Art Gallery at St. Mary’s College, as “a visual feast for those who love landscape art and the unique beauty of California’s diverse terrain.”
Raised in Sacramento by Greek immigrant parents, Kanela and Steve Kondos, Mr. Kondos studied at SCC and later received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Art at the California State University at Sacramento. He taught at SCC for 27 years and was the founder and director of the campus gallery. With fellow artist and friend, Wayne Thiebaud, Mr. Kondos founded the Artists Cooperative Gallery (now the Artists Contemporary Gallery), one of the earliest showcases for aspiring artists in northern California. In 1982, SCC renamed their exhibition space the Gregory Kondos Gallery.
Artist, Member of Faculty 1951 to 1959
Wayne Thiebaud became one of the most well-known Pop artists in America. His iconic images of food may have stemmed from his beginnings as a freelance cartoonist in 1939.Thiebaud taught studio art and art history at SCC from 1951 to 1959, becoming chairman of the department in 1954. From 1959 to 1972, he taught at the University of California at Davis. In 1968 he represented the United States in the Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil. In 1981 the College Art Association named Thiebaud the most distinguished studio teacher of the year.
First Alumnus to return as Faculty
Lloyd Bruno was a student at SJC when classes were held at Sacramento High School on 34th and Y Streets. “Actually City College chose me. I was at the University of California at Berkeley. I had decided I wanted to teach. Mr. Lillard, the President was visiting the college one day. We fell into a conversation and he asked me what I intended to do. I said I wanted to teach English. He said get a Master’s Degree and write me a letter and I’ll take you on. So I got the first job I applied for. I was the first alumnus of Sacramento Junior College to return to the college as a teacher. Of course we have many many more many since then. But, I was the first.” Lloyd Bruno retired in 1968 after 40 years as an English instructor at SCC.
Though his official service dates are from 1968 to 1996, when he retired, Jack Halligan never really left Sac City College. He was a journalist and English instructor before moving to Sacramento from southern California, beginning his SCC career when the original administration building still welcomed students and visitors to the college. As a librarian, he says the best part of his job was the students and literature, and that he learned as much from the students as they learned from him. During his tenure, Halligan amassed enough knowledge of campus history to create tours for anyone interested in the college’s 100-year history. His walking tour of the campus is now on video for all to enjoy.
SCC Outreach Specialist
In his 32 years with SCC, Robert Heisleman gathered enough information about the college’s history to create his own Facebook tribute to the college, called Sac City Sunday. Filled with fascinating facts and relevant, sometimes poignant, photos, Heisleman tells the story of American history and culture through the events of one community college. These historical tidbits, dating from the college’s humble beginnings in 1916 to the present, are an ode to the centennial celebration of SCC. The former book store manager and outreach specialist is pursuing his many interests in retirement, and the college is benefitting from his passion for history and his reverence for the students and staff of SCC.
Dr. Ruth Heitfeld
Dean of Instruction
Dr. Ruth Heitfeld was SCC Dean of Instruction from 1965 until 1984 (she took over the job from Belle Cooledge). In 1956, she was named Sacramento’s “Woman of the Year,” partly for her involvement in community groups.
Despite using a wheelchair and having limited mobility because of rheumatoid arthritis, Jaime Samuels revived the campus honors club; editor, honors newsletter; member, Disabled Students for Positive Action; volunteer, homeless shelter, AIDS fund-raiser, elementary school and Democratic Party.
Dr. David Warren
During his lengthy tenure, Professor Emeritus, Dr. David Warren was a perennial favorite among the students at SCC. Dr. Warren enlivened his Humanities lectures by appearing in class as many historical characters: Julius Caesar, King Tut and Louis XIV.
All of these lectures were “performed” in character and in first person. Historically accurate costumes were fashioned by Lois Warren (1924-2013) who taught Art at the college. Mrs. Warren even wove some of the costume fabric. Today, Dr. Warren teaches classes with the Renaissance Society at Sacramento State College.
Alumni and Emeriti Faculty member
Joan Haug-West graduated from Sacramento Junior College. She obtained her bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley with a major in English in 1956. She began teaching English at Sacramento Junior College in 1969.
The Honorable Morrison Cohen England
United States District Court
Morrison Cohen England has been a federal judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District since he was appointed by President George W. Bush in August, 2002. Before becoming a federal judge, England served as a judge on the Sacramento Superior Court from 1996 to 2002. In 2012, England became chief judge after the retirement of Anthony W. Ishii.
The Honorable Lauren Hammond
Sacramento City Council
Lauren Hammond is an SCC alumna who, in 1997, became the first elected African American Sacramento City Council member. After being re-elected for two additional terms, Hammond lost to Kevin Johnson in the Sacramento’s 2008 mayoral election. Hammond also worked as a consultant to the California State Senate from 1981-2004. In addition she has been a candidate for the California State Assembly. In 2011 Hammond was appointed by Governor Brown and confirmed by the Senate to serve as a Commissioner on the state Gambling Control Board. She was reappointed by the Governor in 2014 and is currently serving on this regulatory agency.
David K. Marty
Los Rios Board of Trustees and alumnus
David K. Marty of Folsom was appointed September 18, 1985 by the Los Rios Community College District Board of Trustees to fill a vacancy created when Cherie Raffety resigned. Marty’s experience in education includes 10 years as a member of the Folsom-Cordova Unified School District Board of Trustees, with several terms as president. He also was a member of the Sacramento County School Boards Association. His community involvement includes memberships in the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, the Sacramento Board of Realtors, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the Sacramento chapters of the International Association of Financial Planners and Institute of Certified Financial Planners.
The Honorable John E. Moss
Former SJC Student, John E. Moss (1915-1997) served as a Sacramento Congressman for 13 terms. Graduating from Sacramento High School in 1932, Moss matriculated to SJC in the fall of that year. During the spring of 1933 he was an understudy in a college adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra.” He left college after only one academic year. Later Moss served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He was first elected to the California Assembly in 1948. In 1952 he was elected to his first term representing the 3rd District in Congress. Among his many accomplishments was his authorship of the Freedom of Information Act. The John E. Moss Federal Building in Sacramento is named for him.
The Honorable Albert S. Rodda
Senator, Attended SCC 1946-1966
Albert S. Rodda graduated from Sacramento High School in 1929. After teaching for several years in Sacramento high schools, Rodda entered the United States Navy Reserve and was a gunnery officer in World War II. Leaving the Navy Reserve in 1946, he started teaching at SJC. In 1951, Rodda received a Ph.D. in history and economics from Stanford.
A Democrat, Rodda won a 1958 special election to the California State Senate. He was re-elected six times but was defeated in 1980. Rodda’s best-known legislative legacy is SB 160, enacted in 1975 and taking effect in 1976, which established collective bargaining for California’s public school teachers.
In 1983, Rodda left the Commission and was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Los Rios Community College District. He left the board in 1992. In 1980, the Los Rios Community College District Board named a new administrative-classroom complex at SCC as Rodda Hall.
The Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye
California Chief Justice, SCC 1978 graduate
Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, a Filipino-American jurist, is the 28th Chief Justice of California. Nominated by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for California’s highest judicial office on July 22, 2010, and retained in office by California voters on November 2, 2010. “The educational independence, responsibility and accountability I learned served me well at UC Davis, law school and even now on the court of appeal. SCC is the place where you can start to make your dreams come true,” she said during her comments at the SCC 90th Anniversary celebration, where she was the guest speaker.
Biologist, Shark Researcher
Paul Clerkin studied at SCC, where he graduated as a distinguished scholar with President’s Highest Honors after earning associate degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, Sociology, and Humanities. In 2011, he began his studies at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories’s Pacific Shark Research Center.
Herbert Faulkner Copeland (May 21, 1902 – October 15, 1968) was an American biologist who contributed to the theory of biological kingdoms. He is responsible for the fourth kingdom, Monera. In 1966, he included bacteria and one of the most primitive algae, called blue green algae, under this kingdom. Herbert was a professor at Sacramento City College starting in the 1930’s until the early 60’s.
Dr. George Kambara graduated with the Associate of Art Degree from SJC in 1935. After completing his medical studies at Stanford University in 1941 he enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a teacher and practitioner in his chosen field of ophthalmology. Shortly after the outbreak of WWII, he and his wife spent thirteen months in a Japanese internment camp. In 1987, Dr. and Mrs. Kambara gave a gift of $200,000 to SCC to benefit Biology faculty and students.
John Ortego, PharmD is the owner of Parkside Pharmacy right here in Land Park by the Sacramento Zoo. He opened the pharmacy in 2009 in the same spot that was Land Park Pharmacy for 55 years. Dr. Ortego graduated from pharmacy school at the University of the Pacific in 2006. It was here at Sacramento City College that he completed a large portion of his pre-pharmacy work. Being a pharmacist wasn’t something he decided he wanted to do until he had already finished a bachelor’s in Anthropology and a master’s in Arts Administration several years earlier at CSUS. 30 years old and newly married, he decided to go back to school and earn a degree that would assure a promising career when completed.
He credits SCC for providing all the classes and instruction he needed to be well-prepared for the challenging post-grad work in pharmaceutical sciences. He says that his experience here at SCC was on par with CSUS and UOP as far as quality of instruction and resources.
Dr. Heather Young
Associate Vice Chancellor for Nursing, Dean and Professor, Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, Dignity Health Dean’s Chair for Nursing Leadership, Attended SCC 1981
A nurse leader, educator, scientist and nationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing and rural health care, Heather M. Young is the Dignity Health Dean’s Chair for Nursing Leadership and founding dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. Young is a UC Davis alumna, graduating in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics followed by an Associate Degree in Nursing from Sacramento City College and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Southern Oregon State College. She then went on to the University of Washington, where she earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree with a specialty in gerontology and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science.
Hispanic Professional Engineer
Margarita Colmenares attended SCC during the latter half of the 1970’s, and completed her education in Engineering at Stanford University. While at SCC she received a General Electric Scholarship and was named one of two Outstanding Graduates by the college in 1978. In 1989 Margarita Colmenares was the first Hispanic woman to be elected as national president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. A former scientist at Chevron, Ms. Colmenares has also received Presidential appointments from two administrations. Colmenares has most recently worked with green tech companies on energy use and storage. She also serves as a motivational speaker to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math students and educators and has been the subject in a Facts-on-File Books for young readers in the American Profiles series
Sherwood “Shakey” Johnson
Sherwood Johnson was a jazz patron and the founder in 1954 of Shakey’s Pizza, which hosted live jazz-oriented music nightly. He was born in Sacramento, California, USA, the son of a California deputy attorney general, and a graduate of Christian Brothers High School (Sacramento, California). In 1943, after graduating, Johnson joined the U.S. Navy and served two years in the Pacific theater aboard the USS Alnitah . It was in the Navy that he got the nickname “Shakey.” Johnson attended SJC, where he was known for a comedy act he performed with a fellow student.
The former president and vice chairman on the board of the American Broadcasting Company made it to the top of the television industry with an associate degree from SJC, California, his only college degree. Elton Rule (1916-1990) was a 1938 Sacramento College graduate. Sacramento’s KROY radio provided Rule’s first job post college. After wartime service in the U.S. Army he returned to work in the broadcast industry. A series of successful jobs provided Rule with the opportunity to become the station manager for KECA now KABC television in Los Angeles in 1960. Under his management it became the leading station in the LA market. He later did the same for ABC-TV. As ABC”s president and CEO from 1970 to 1984 Rule piloted the third place network to first place by 1976. During Rule’s tenure, ABC-TV revenues more than quadrupled to $2.7 billion.
Founder of Tower Records, alumnus
Russ Solomon attended SJC in the 1940s and was a photographer for the student newspaper called the Pony Express. While known for being the founder of Tower Records, Russ has often said if he “hadn’t chosen music retail as a career, I would have pursued a career as a fashion photographer. My fascination with photography started as a young man when I received my first camera at the age of 16.” In 2015, the photo gallery in the new Student Services building — named after him in 2016 — and the Kondos Gallery played host to an exhibit of some of Solomon’s photo portraits of famous Sacramento natives.
Roger Valine attended SCC from 1968 to 1970 and later graduated from Sacramento State. Roger Valine joined Vision Service Plan (VSP) in 1973 where he later became CEO from 1992 to 2006. He built the company into the recognized leader in the eye care industry with over 2200 employees. The company offers eye care benefits to over 38 million members and is headquartered in Rancho Cordova, CA.
Former SCC student Mel Venter was a pioneer in radio broadcasting. The first radio broadcast from Hughes Stadium (then Sacramento Stadium) included Venter calling a football game. He soon ventured to San Francisco where he worked first as a spotter for sports broadcasts over KPO (now KNBR). By 1933 Venter was able to use his connections to arrange a big break for another former SCC student, bandleader Dick Jurgens, to land an important booking with regular radio broadcasts at the St. Francis Hotel. Venter then worked for KFRC and ended up hosting the long running and highly popular morning show, “The Breakfast Gang.” It was an elaborate program with its own band, regular characters and lots of fun. That program carried Venter into the 1950’s when he was able to transition to TV in San Francisco and again pioneer a new medium, broadcasting the news and later game shows.