2005 - 12th Distinguished Alumni

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Westley Patton

College of Agriculture
BS Agriculture, Class of 1965

Westley "Doc" Patton came to California State University, Chico in 1963 as a transfer student from Coalinga College. After earning his Bachelor of Science in agriculture, Patton attended graduate school at Oregon State University, where he met his wife, Jane. In the fall of 1969, Patton returned to Chico, where he would teach in the College of Agriculture for the next 35 years. Doc’s teaching career extended far beyond the classroom. “His teaching never stops. Even while walking through a field he is educating us,” said Brian Miller, a senior animal science minor. “He never gets mad and is the most sincere person.” College of Agriculture professor and Doc’s former student Dave Daley said, “The lifelong learning attitude, the caring nature, and his willingness to work with everyone is unparalleled.” The admiration students, faculty, and staff have for Doc is a mutual feeling. “The energy I receive from the students, the close working relationships I have with faculty and staff, and the tremendous connection we have with the industry has given me the greatest place I could imagine to work my whole academic career,” Doc said.

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Blaire Harms

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
BA International Relations, Class of 1990

In a military career that started with the ROTC in Chico, Blaire Harms has traveled the globe and has distinguished herself in her roles as an educator, counselor, and executive officer at the United States Military Academy (USMA). She earned her Master's degree in Political Science from Rutgers University. Harms recently completed strategic arts training in preparation for her role at the United States Pacific Command at Fort Shafter in Hawaii, but has been redirected to assist in the tsunami relief effort. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and received an Army Commendation Medal in recognition of her coordination and execution of a USMA outreach visit to Baghdad University.

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Scott A. Bedford

College of Business
BS Business Administration, Class of 1982

Scott Bedford began his career in the investment field in 1983 with the New York-based investment firm L.F. Rothschild, Unterberg, Towbin. In 1986, he became the youngest vice president in the firm. Bedford left L. F. Rothschild in 1987 to join the start up firm, Volpe Covington, and serve as general partner. At the time, Volpe Covington was the biggest financed start-up investment banking firm in Wall Street history. He left Volpe Covington to start Peninsula Capital Management in 1989. Bedford has been named the college of Business Executive of the Year, and serves on the Board of Trustees for St. Matthew Episcopal Day School in Burlingame, California.

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Carolyn Thompson

College of Communication & Education
BA Physical Education, Class of 1968

An educator of secondary physical education for 33 years, Carolyn Thompson started her teaching career in Gridley, California, where she coached four sport seasons a year for 13 years. She then moved to Bell Gardens High School, where she guided the department through the process of creating standards-based curriculum. Thompson received the Secondary School Physical Education Teacher of the Year award in 1994 from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. She has written several professional articles, including co-authorship of "The New Leadership Paradigm of Physical Education, What We Really Need to Lead." Recently retired from educating, Thompson currently serves as a consultant promoting quality daily physical education and effective teaching for Bonnie's Fitwear, Inc.

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John F. O'Connell *

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management
BA Industrial Education, Class of 1937

A Lifetime Member of the CSU, Chico Alumni Association, John O'Connell served as the first Alumni Trustee to the California State University Board of Trustees from 1977 to 1984. O'Connell was a long-term employee of the Bechtel Corporation, rising to the rank of executive vice president prior to his retirement in 1973. Following retirement, he served as vice chairman and president of Bechtel Incorporated and as vice chairman of the Bechtel group of companies. He was a director, member, or officer for as many as 16 different corporations, organizations, and councils. Opened in August 1993, the O'Connell building houses the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management.

* = Deceased

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Jackie Headley *

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Art, Class of 1973

Jackie Headley began her career as an entrepreneur at the ripe old age of 12 when she sold her handmade paper-mâché earrings. Following graduation, she spent a year teaching at a bilingual school in Mazatlan, Mexico. She returned to Chico and founded Woof & Poof Pillows in her home. Starting in 1975, with just six pillow designs, Woof & Poof now adds 120 new designs per year to their product assortment. In addition to her work, Headley also served on the City of Chico Architectural Review Board, the Chico Heritage Board, and the Chico General Plan Task Force. She has been named the Soroptomist Business Woman of the Year.

* = Deceased

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Douglas G. Jackson

College of Natural Sciences
BS Nursing, Class of 1980

Colonel Douglas G. Jackson is the Department Head of the Primary Care Clinic at the Port Hueneme Naval Ambulatory Care Center. Jackson began his career as a secondary science and math teacher in the Kingdom of Tonga. In 1976, Jackson worked as a research assistant for the World Health Organization Project in Tonga. Back in the United States, Jackson joined the military following his graduation from the nursing program at CSU, Chico. He earned his MS in health service administration from Central Michigan University and his family nurse practitioner specialty from UCLA. He has served as clinical coordinator and assistant professor at Uniform Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, where he was awarded the Dean's Teaching Award. Jackson has received several Meritorious Service and Achievement Medals from the United States Army.

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Mackay Martin *

Distinguished Alumni Service Award
BS Business Administration, Class of 1946
Honor Year: 2005

Mackay "Mac" Martin was an avid supporter of Chico State athletics. Martin entered Chico State College in 1938, but left in 1941 to enlist in the U.S. Navy following the attack on Pearl Harbor. He returned to Chico State after WWII, and completed his degree in Business Administration. Martin went to work for Chico State College in 1947, and oversaw the bookstore, food service, athletics, drama, and team transportation until his retirement in 1976. He helped to launch the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985, and became director of the Chico Invitational Basketball Tournament which was later renamed the Mac Martin Invitational. Martin served as treasurer of the Alumni Association for 30 years, and established the Mac Martin Student Leadership Endowment in 2002.

* = Deceased

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