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Cal State L.A. honors 11 distinguished alumni at awards gala

May 19, 2015

Eleven Cal State L.A. alumni who exemplify the University’s commitment to engagement, service, and the public good were honored at the 40th Alumni Awards Gala.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards were established in 1973 and are presented by the University to recognize personal achievement, professional success or humanitarian service. Recipients have attained prominence in their respective fields and have brought pride to the University.

This year’s group of distinguished alumni were recognized on May 15 at a packed gala in the Golden Eagle Ballroom. See the Cal State L.A. Office of Communications and Public Affairs Flickr page for a photo gallery of the gala.

The honorees are:

  • Alumnus of the Year recipient: Gilbert R. Vasquez, ’64, managing partner, Vasquez & Company LLP.
  • University Service Award recipient: Tony K. Wong, ’69, principal engineer, W2 Design Inc.
  • Alumni Family Award recipients: Leonor Gaviña-Valls, ’74, vice president, F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc.; and Francisco Gaviña, ’69, vice president, F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc.
  • Golden Eagle Award recipient: Carlos Illingworth, Jr. ’04, director, communications and government affairs Albertsons-Safeway, Southern California Division.
  • Distinguished Alumnus College of Arts and Letters recipient: Raynor Carroll, ’84, principal percussionist, Los Angeles Philharmonic.
  • Distinguished Alumna College of Business and Economics recipient: Susan Woo, ’10, ’15, president Jade Lake Inc.
  • Distinguished Alumnus Charter College of Education recipient: Michael J. Bina, ’73, president and chief executive officer, The Maryland School for the Blind.
  • Distinguished Alumnus College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology recipient: Robert Teague, ’81, president, founder and owner, Teague Custom Marine Inc.
  • Distinguished Alumna College of Health and Human Services recipient: Reneé D. Martinez, ’72, president, Los Angeles College.
  • Distinguished Alumnus College of Natural and Social Sciences recipient: Nathaniel Trives, ’68, philanthropist and community leader.

Photo: President William A. Covino and Alumnus of the Year Gilbert R. Vasquez. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State L.A.)


Cal State L.A. is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 24,000 students, and 235,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State L.A. has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit, or like us at