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THE BEACH CONNECTION Staff: Janice Y. Hatanaka, ’84 Associate Vice President, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Gay Arakawa Executive Director, Alumni Association Antonio Alves Assistant Director, Communications and Marketing Janet Gonzales, ’08, ’11 Coordinator, Alumni Programs Noemi Guevara, ’08 Administrative Coordinator, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving

Photo by David Nelson


Dear members: I am honored to serve as the president of the Alumni Association for this upcoming year. It will be a period of transition at Cal State Long Beach with the departure of President F. King Alexander for Louisiana State University. In addition, Doug Robinson retired this summer after 22 years as the longest tenured vice president of Student Services in the CSU.

Looking for a college buddy, former roommate, professor, student, staff member or classmate? The CSULB Alumni Association will help you locate your friends from your time at CSULB. Visit and complete the form online.

This pending change of leadership reminds me that faculty and staff come and go, students are here for four to six years, but our relationship with our alma mater as alumni continues for a lifetime. It’s during these transitional times that alumni support and advocacy are needed more than ever.

Sally Schliesmayer, ’87 Director, Special Events

In this issue, we’ll look at generations of Beach families who have demonstrated their support with the Alumni Brick Plaza. In addition, there is a profile of longtime volunteer Pat West, whom many athletes will know from her work in the Athletics Office. Also featured is anthropology professor Thomas Douglas (’94, B.A., liberal studies), who was ranked 15th in the nation on the 2011-12 Highest Rated University Professors list on the website. There is also a fun section of photos submitted by alumni on how they show their Beach Pride in their lives.



We appreciate your continued expressions of confidence and value in our various surveys such as the recent Alumni Attitude Survey, Facebook postings and your participation in our events.

I hope that you enjoy this issue.


Go Beach!



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If we are able to identify the alumnus, faculty or staff member and have contact information for them, we will send them a letter with the information you provided. It is solely upon the receiver's discretion if they will reply to your message. Due to privacy laws, we cannot directly release any personal contact information about our alumni, faculty or staff to individuals. T


Please note your name, address, phone number, major and year of graduation may be used by California State University, Long Beach for the development of university-affiliated marketing programs. If you do not wish to have this information used, please notify the Alumni Relations Office in writing at: CSULB Alumni Relations, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-8101; by e-mail to; or by phone at 562-985-5252 (toll-free at 888-883-0007) or by FAX at 562-985-5488.




The mission of the California State University, Long Beach Alumni Association is to: assist and advance the alumni in the pursuit of excellence, continue the friendships formed in the university, build strong and mutually beneficial ties between the university and its diverse alumni, promote goodwill in the community and create a dynamic alumni program that will stimulate interest, build loyalty, increase involvement and generate support for the university.

Stay informed about the progress and ways that you can contribute to create the new campus icon, the Anna W. Ngai Alumni Center. It will be a place that welcomes alumni and friends where they can reminisce and reconnect, and instill Beach Pride in current students for their future role at their alma mater. Check out the new Alumni Center website:

Kathy Bazarian (’72, history) was elected as the CSULB Alumni Association president for 2013-14, representing 39,800 members. The longtime Cerritos resident joined the board of directors in 2003 and has held most positions, including chair of the Alumni Grants Committee that awards funds to academic departments on a competitive basis. In addition, she served for three years as the alumni representative on the University Student Union Board of Trustees, which provided her the opportunity to work with student leaders. Kathy has been a longtime member of the Downey chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional educators sorority. She retired in 2010 as a teacher specialist from the Downey Unified School District after teaching for 36 years. For 40 years, she has been married to banker Harold Bazarian, and they have two adult daughters, Julie and Jaclyn. In her spare time, Kathy enjoys live theater, touring design homes, family activities, travel and advocating for public education.

Elva M. Hermosillo, ’05 Assistant to the Executive Director

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Cover: Three generations of the Benavidez Beach Family. From left to right: Julie Benavidez Brown, Delia Gasco, Tim Brown, Kristyn Benavidez, Devin Benavidez (framed photo), Marcos Benavidez, Chanthan Lek Benavidez, Heidi Benavidez, Yolanda Benavidez, Leslie Benavidez, Leah Nieto and Robert Cisneros. Photo by Michael Greenberg. Story on page 10.

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Design, photography and editorial assistance provided by University Relations and Communications, 2013. A publication of the CSULB Alumni Association.



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In addition to meeting fully its obligations of nondiscrimination under federal and state law, CSULB is committed to creating a community in which a diverse population can learn, live and work in an atmosphere of tolerance, civility and respect for the rights and sensibilities of each individual, without regard to economic status, ethnic background, veteran status, political views, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics or beliefs.

Noel Rabina (’13) at Stonehenge, England.




Ana Plasencia (’12) at the famous Grizzly Manor Café in Big Bear, Calif.


Claudia Chen (’13) and her Chihuahua show off their Beach Pride.



Recently, the Alumni Association asked alumni to let us know how they show off their Beach Pride. We received pictures ranging from alumni travelling the world in their Beach gear or decorating their office spaces with the latest CSULB banners to family members wearing Beach Pride T-shirts. We hope you enjoy the wonderful array of pictures of support from your fellow alumni family. If you are interested in being included in the next issue of The Beach Connection or online, send your pictures and information to Go Beach! For additional Beach Pride photos, visit Alberto Pimental, Jr. (’11) and son Gavin Lucas show off their Beach Pride at their home in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Jarvis family at the Big West game. John (’02) and Cindy (’02, ’03) Jarvis are both CSULB graduates.

Mitch Morlan (’67) in Albuquerque, N.M., visits a fellow CSULB alum bookstore owner.

Jenn Escobar (’13) on the California Coast in her CSULB gear.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – BACK TO COLLEGE NIGHT Rayburn House Office Building, Cafeteria Wednesday, Sept. 18 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free Join your fellow CSULB 49ers, along with alumni and friends from each of California’s college and university campuses, for a hosted networking reception. This lively and very well-attended event ensures that you will rekindle old friendships, renew old rivalries and forge new friendships. The California State Society hosts this reception each fall to celebrate the great educational institutions of California. Don’t miss this opportunity to reconnect! The deadline to RSVP is Sept. 16 at noon. For more information and to RSVP, visit

Class of 1963

50th Reunion and Golden Graduates Celebration

University Student Union Friday, Nov. 8 4 p.m. $50 Class of 1963 members $65 Golden Graduates 1950-62, faculty, staff and guests All graduates, faculty, staff and friends from 1950-63 are invited to attend this grand reunion during Homecoming Week. It will be an opportunity for all to reconnect with friends, take a nostalgic trip back to the days of Long Beach State College and stroll through the historical gallery of memorabilia items provided by fellow Golden Graduates. In addition, members of the Class of 1963 will be inducted into the Golden Graduates Society! For more information about the event or memorabilia items, please contact Alumni Relations at 562-985-5252 or e-mail

CSU MEGA MIXER: LOS ANGELES Sadie Kitchen & Lounge, Hollywood Monday, Nov. 4 6:30-9 p.m. $15 per person, no-host bar $5 validated parking on-site Meet alumni from 15 campuses who share a common bond as graduates from the California State University system. For more information and to purchase tickets, please go to or call the alumni relations office at 562-985-5252.

A Day at the


Wine Tasting, Tour and Luncheon Leoness Cellars, Temecula, Calif. Saturday, Sept. 28 Members/non-members prices: $70/$80 bus/tour/tasting/lunch (seating is limited) 9 a.m. bus departs CSULB 3:45 p.m. arrive at campus $50/$60 tour/tasting/lunch 11 a.m. meet for tour Two tickets per member maximum. This experience includes six tastings of wine and a tour through its vineyard, barrel room and production facility. After the tour and tasting, enjoy a delicious luncheon on the restaurant patio. For more information, contact Janet Gonzales at 562-985-7022 or Tickets can also be purchased online at


HOMECOMING 2013 Lot 13, Walter Pyramid, CSULB Saturday, Nov. 9 Come back to campus and participate in an entire week of Homecoming activities, culminating in the Homecoming Day festivities and game on Saturday, Nov. 9. Join us for a delicious meal in the Alumni & Friends area and reconnect with classmates and friends. After the festivities, join the crowd in the Walter Pyramid to cheer on the 49ers as they take on the Hawaii-Pacific Sea Warriors. For more information and all the ways to celebrate your CSULB Homecoming, check CAPITOL STEPS Saturday, Jan. 18 6 p.m. buffet dinner in the Gerald Daniel Recital Hall Foyer 8 p.m. curtain in the Carpenter Performing Arts Center $60 members $65 non-members Begin the new year with scandal! Capitol Steps returns for a fifth year with an updated show setting American politics to music. They take a no-holds-barred approach to the headlines of the day with satire, poking fun at all sides of the issues. They are sure to earn bipartisan support and are guaranteed to keep both sides of the aisle laughing. For more information, contact Sally Schliesmayer at 562-985-1606, e-mail or visit

For tickets and more information on all events, please visit


Initiative, part of a national conversation on creative place-making of art. The festival kicks off a year of activities, leading up to the 20th anniversary of the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater in April 2014, with a series of short screen dances produced by CSULB Department of Dance students, faculty, staff and alumni. A question-and-answer session with the artists will follow the screenings.


Photo by Gregory R.R. Crosby.

For an expanded list of CSULB events this season, please visit the following Web pages for detailed information.

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION EVENTS Visit or call 562-985-5252. CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER Visit or call 562-985-4151. CARPENTER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Visit or call 562-985-7000. COLE CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC Visit or call 562-985-5408. CLUB SPORTS AND RECREATION Visit or call 562-985-7351. COLLEGE OF THE ARTS EVENTS Visit or call 562-985-7000. EARL BURNS MILLER JAPANESE GARDEN Visit or call 562-985-8885.

MFA FALL CONCERT, 2013 Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater Thurs., Oct. 3-Fri., Oct. 4, 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 5, 2 & 8 p.m. $20 general admission; $16 students, faculty, staff, seniors, Dance Resource Center members EARL BURNS MILLER JAPANESE GARDEN FALL OPEN HOUSE Friends of the Japanese Garden Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden Fri., Sept. 13 Free for garden members, RSVP Japanese Garden members are welcome to join us for an evening of beauty and pleasure. Stroll through the garden and view an exhibit of Japanese textile art, featuring noren fabric dividers, nestled in amongst the plants and flowers. Listen to soothing music played through our state-of-the-art sound system. Enjoy tea and treats in our newly refurbished Friends Garden Pavilion. Complimentary entrance for garden members. Please purchase a day parking pass for your vehicle, available in Lot 16 across from the garden, before entering the event. All ages are welcome (an excellent opportunity to take your holiday photo early!). RSVP to 562-9852169. Visit for more information. Photo by Alison Redfoot.

MEMBER TEA & TOUR Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden Sun., Oct. 13 Complimentary for Japanese Garden members

OPERA MASTERPIECES Bob Cole Conservatory of Music Daniel Recital Hall Sat., Nov. 9, 8 p.m. Sun., Nov. 10, 4 p.m. $10/$7 The Opera Institute of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music presents its finest vocalists in scenes from well-known operas. Visit for more information.

WINTER FESTIVAL CONCERT Bob Cole Conservatory of Music First Congregational Church of Long Beach Sat., Dec. 7, 4 & 8 p.m. Sun., Dec. 8, 4 p.m. $25/$15/$8

Admire the beauty and learn the history of the Japanese garden on a fall Sunday afternoon. Members will take a guided educational tour and join other members for a Japanese tea and treats reception in the Friends Garden.

UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE/ BEACH STORE ON 2ND ST. Visit or call toll-free 800-985-8880.


Beach Cafe is an all-student run cabaret evening of great performances from musicals to rock 'n roll. Students of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music sing songs they don't normally sing in the classroom. It is always a fun evening with a huge cheering crowd. Admission includes coffee and desserts. Visit depts/music/ for more information.

A selection of works choreographed by faculty and our guest artistin-residence, featuring both graduate and undergraduate dancers.


CSULB ART DEPARTMENT HOLIDAY SALE CSULB Art Department Student Galleries Sun., Dec. 1-Thurs., Dec. 5 Dec. 1, 4 p.m., sale begins; 5-7 p.m., reception Dec. 2, 3, 5, noon-5 p.m., sale hours Dec. 4, noon-7 p.m., sale hours Free

ENGINEERING DISTINGUISHED LECTURE SERIES Medical Innovations and Engineering for the Body The Point Event and Conference Center, Walter Pyramid Thurs., Oct. 24 5-5:30 p.m., registration & networking 5:30-7 p.m., panel of experts/audience Q&A Free; reservation required

Original works of art and fine craft from photography to fiber, ceramics to illustration, sculpture to metals, jewelry to graphic design, woodwork to drawing and painting will be on sale in time for holiay giftgiving. Visit for more information.

Please RSVP online at current/index.shtml or e-mail by Oct. 17.



No other discounts or promotions apply. Visit or call 562-985-4949.

BEACH CAFE Bob Cole Conservatory of Music American Choral Directors Association Student Chapter Daniel Recital Hall Fri., Sept. 13-Sat., Sept. 14 8 p.m. $10

CSULB DANCE IN CONCERT Department of Dance Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater Wed., Nov. 20-Fri., Nov. 22, 8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 23, 2 & 8 p.m. $20 general admission; $16 students, faculty, staff, seniors


The choral program's 34th annual Winter Festival Concert of holiday favorites. The performance will feature the CSULB Chamber Choir, University Choir, Forty-Niner Chorus, women's chorus, men's chorus, Pacific Standard Time, University Brass Ensemble, Pacific Bells Handbell Ensemble and the 68 Rank Mรถller pipe organ. Visit for more information.

49ER ATHLETIC EVENTS CSULB Alumni Association members receive $2 off the lowest priced ticket by presenting their membership card at the box office on game day.

UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM Visit or call 562-985-5761.

Featuring original choreography by MFA candidates Liz Curtis, Alison Hart, Kathleen Helm and Maggie Philips.

DANCE DEPARTMENT 5TH ANNUAL CSULB 4-THE-CAMERA OUTDOOR FILM FESTIVAL Department of Dance & Arts Council for Long Beach Empty lot on Pine Ave. south of 7th St., across from former Long Beach Press-Telegram building Fri., Sept. 20 Free The 5th Annual CSULB 4-the-Camera Outdoor Film Festival is cosponsored by the Arts Council for Long Beach through the A Lot

Faculty spotlight/volunteer spotlight Q


Thomas Douglas has been a professor in CSULB’s Department of Anthropology since 1999 and also teaches at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). Q: Many recent alumni have named you as a professor who has had a great impact on their education and lives. As an educator, what does this mean to you? Well, it is certainly very flattering to be told this, but I am sure that there are a number of other professors at CSULB who have been just as influential in students' lives, if not more so. If my teaching has had an impact, I think it is due more to the material that we cover in anthropology classes than anything that I personally do. Anthropology offers a number of unique perspectives that sometimes touches students in powerful ways. I am privileged to be able to share those perspectives with our students and perhaps provide them some new tools for better understanding of the world and themselves. Q: You recently received a national distinction by being ranked No. 15 on the website in a nationwide poll. Can you tell us a little about that and what that means to you? That was certainly quite a surprise. When I first received the news via an e-mail about this ranking, I actually thought it was spam. Of course, when I learned it was actually true, I was touched by the kind and generous statements that students had made about my classes on this website. Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, how you came to CSULB and a little bit about your work in your field? I was actually an undergrad at CSULB and then an M.A. student in the Applied Anthropology Program here before going to UCI for my Ph.D. I was hired to start teaching classes at CSULB while I was finishing up my doctorate, so CSULB has been a kind of home for me in a number of ways for quite a while. In fact, much of my ability as an instructor comes directly from the many excellent professors I had while a student here. My mom is also a CSULB graduate and she became a teacher, so I guess I am sort of following a family tradition.

THE BEACH FUND THANKS YOU FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO OUR MISSION! As we begin another promising school year, the Beach Fund students look forward to getting in touch with you. Each year, our student callers reach out to alumni like you by seeking your feedback and support to keep The Beach experience alive. Contributions to the Beach Fund make a direct impact, as our mission is to provide for an accessible and affordable education by addressing the ongoing needs of the university. It is always a good time to make a gift to the Beach Fund since your support is put to use right away. Please see the enclosed envelope to make an impact today! Our Beach Fund student employees are all dedicated to our mission of providing an accessible and affordable education: Sherrae Adams, Senior Caller, Kinesiology (’15)

Frank Sanchez (’12), Student Caller; Teaching Credential Student ('14)

THOMAS DOUGLAS 1994, B.A., Liberal Studies, CSULB; 1998, M.A., Social Science, University of California, Irvine; 2004, Ph.D., Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

Q: As a CSULB professor, what are some of your favorite memories thus far at CSULB? Well, some of the best include any time a student comes into my class at the beginning of the semester, has no idea what anthropology is, and then ends the semester finding that anthropology has given her or him a whole new way to think about the world. Q: What advice do you have for today's current students? It is so hard not to sound cliché about this, but my word of advice would be to pursue that which you have a passion for. Maybe your passion is for mathematics, or biology, or fashion, or music, or art, or philosophy, or possibly even anthropology. Whatever it is, pursue it. Find something that you truly care about and choose to excel in it.

Now, I have time to attend most all the home games and volunteer whenever they need me. This also gave me time to volunteer in Alumni Relations. Being on campus brightens my days. At other times, I am talking about my 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren!


Q: Why did you become a volunteer for the CSULB Alumni Association? Athletics and Alumni Relations have always worked together on various functions. Getting to know the staff all those years made it a no-brainer to want to help them anytime they needed it.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I was born in Massachusetts and lived there until 1965. I was a legal secretary for Arthur Coolidge, lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, after graduating from Boston University. That was until the children began to arrive. Upon moving here, I worked for GTE (now Verizon) and was secretary to the vice president of the Southern area. I took early retirement in 1989 and then the happiest time of my life began.

Q: What advice would you give to other alumni or parents who would like to become more involved with CSULB? The opportunity to meet other interesting people who share pride in CSULB and to be part of helping such an outstanding staff be successful is a privilege.

Steve Holton, director of development, Athletics, hired me as his secretary. Our family has always been sports fanatics, so it was Disneyland for me. The opportunity to be with the coaches and student-athletes was a privilege. There was much work to do and events to plan, but association with such dedicated and kind people made it fun. I was fortunate enough to be in Athletics for 19 years until I retired again.

Q: What do you enjoy volunteering for the most? I most enjoy volunteering for mailings. Everything is so well organized; it is fun to tackle the challenge and complete the task. It gives such a good feeling of accomplishment, plus the staff spoils us with kindness and appreciation!

Photos by David J. Nelson

Look for expanded biographies and interviews online at

“I work for the Beach Fund because I want to be involved in enhancing the resources we all use at the university. In the two years I have been working for the Beach Fund, I have raised $58,446 from 738 alumni and parents. At the Beach Fund, everyone is motivated to reach our goals and meet the university’s needs. The people I work with make the environment great. My kinesiology classes at The Beach have been phenomenal. After my degree is completed, I want to use the knowledge I have gained here to help improve lives by teaching others how to live healthy lifestyles in my career as a health coach.”

“I work for the Beach Fund because everything we do makes a direct impact on students like me. In my first month working here, I spoke to nearly 250 alumni and raised $5,135 for the Beach Fund. Without the funds we generate, many of our student resources wouldn’t be available for free. My Beach experience has been so amazing that I decided to not only complete my undergrad here in history but also pursue my teaching credential in social science as well. My education at CSULB continues to provide me with the skills I need to pursue my dream career of becoming a history teacher.”

PAVE YOUR WAY INTO CSULB HISTORY The Alumni Brick Plaza provides you with an opportunity to leave your imprint at the Beach in a unique and charitable way. The two Alumni Brick Plazas proudly display the legacies of over 4,000 CSULB graduates. Your $150 tax-deductible donation will not only get your name, major and year of graduation etched on a premium-quality red brick, but it will also support the CSULB Alumni Association’s programs such as alumni grants, alumni publications and many other services. Text is limited to name, major and class year (19 spaces per line) and may be edited to meet space requirements. A confirmation letter will be sent to you prior to engraving. No refunds or replacements will be given after the confirmation letter is signed. Engraved bricks are $150 each and are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. The plaza is open to graduates only and makes a great gift!

Order Form Purchaser’s Name: ___________________________________________________ Purchaser’s Address:__________________________________________________ City/State/Zip_______________________________________________________ Preferred E-mail: ____________________________________________________ Phone: ( _____ ) _____________________________________________________ Your Brick Information: First and Last Name (Line 1): __________________________________________ Major (Line 2):______________________________________________________ Grad Year (Line 3): __________________________________________________ Please charge my: Credit Card MasterCard



Account Number: ______________________________ Exp. Date: ____________ Signature: ____________________________________ Date:________________ Please make all checks payable to “CSULB Alumni Association” Please enclose check in provided envelope in this publication. Phone (562-985-5252) and fax orders (562-985-5488) accepted with credit card number or visit us at



Yolanda Benavidez’s (’83) affiliation with CSULB started later in life after she was married. While working at Jefferson Junior High School, Principal Ed Eveland recognized her talents and urged her to attend college. Like so many women of her time, she had always wanted to go to college but had her family to consider. So while her sons were attending CSULB, she decided to embark on her own educational journey. While working full time and taking care of her household, she received her sociology degree in 1983. Since then, her involvement with CSULB has included serving on the CSULB Alumni Association board, Latino Alumni Chapter, and as president of the Alumni Association (2001-03). Let’s take a look at Yolanda’s CSULB family tree, which is 17 family members strong!


GENERATIONS Elvira Gutierrez (’66) Cousin; passed away in 2013.

Robert Cisneros (’84) Nephew; technical expert for aerospace engineering:

Olivia Hererra Nieto (’67) Older sister; passed away in 2002. Delia Gasco (’69) Cousin; retired elementary school principal; former member of United Mexican American Students (UMAS), which was a precursor of Movimento Estudantil CHaicano de Atzlan (MECHA):

CSULB allowed me to live at home while attending school. I worked for the Daily 49er newspaper as a work-study student and wrote articles on the plight of the Mexican American student and why so few attended college.

CSULB offered me a chance to study ocean “engineering. My fondest memories of CSULB are studying late night in the library and celebrating at The Nugget after finals were over. ” Philip Palacios (’87) Amelia’s son.

Leslie Benavidez (’92) Daughter-in-law; finance manager. Julie Benavidez-Brown (’99) Daughter-in-law; faculty in the Disabled Students Program, Cypress College.

Tim Brown (’71) Julie Benavidez-Brown’s husband; Vietnam vet; retired attorney.

Heidi Benavidez (’05) Niece of Leslie and granddaughter of Yolanda.

Amelia Palacios (Gutierrez) (’71) Yolanda’s cousin.

Teresa Nieto (’08) Grandniece; political science degree; currently working in hotel management in Santa Maria, Calif.

Frances Alvillar Nord (’72) Younger sister; passed away in 1988.


The CSULB Alumni Association had the pleasure of speaking with Mary Lois VanSooy (’52) about her family’s connection to CSULB, which includes her three sons, Todd VanSooy (’87), Kent VanSooy (’79) and Lance VanSooy (’78), and her late husband Kirk VanSooy (’50, ’53), pictured above, who was also the second student body president at CSULB.

Can you tell us why you selected CSULB as your university of choice? Mary Lois VanSooy:

My parents moved to Long Beach in January 1949. I completed junior college at Long Beach City College and, with finances paramount, wanted to complete my college education when CSULB was fortunately established. Tuition was free; a student body card was $10 plus the cost of books. I enrolled at the apartment buildings on Anaheim. We met in living rooms and bedrooms, and even on occasion sat on the edge of a bathtub. The parking structures were used for natural history and art. The “quad” was the green space behind the apartments. At the time I graduated, there were 600 students on campus.


GENERATIONS Can you share with us your family history with CSULB? Mary Lois VanSooy:

Chanthan Lek Benavidez (’09) Granddaughter-in-law; controller.

Leah Nieto (’82) Married to Yolanda’s nephew, Raul:

I graduated and never left the campus. Currently, I am the assistant director working in Enrollment Services, Registration, and Grading & Student Records Module lead, CMS Project. I have been employed on campus since 1975, starting as a student assistant to staff. My fondest memory of CSULB? I have a few but maybe just relaxing on Hardfact Hill on a warm spring afternoon, listening to Gil Scot Herron perform live on the bandstand there. A lot of different bands performed there.

Devin Benavidez (’10) Yolanda’s grandson and brother to Kristyn; political science degree; currently working in Washington, D.C. Laura E. Nieto (’12) Grandniece, daughter of Irma and Rafael; the Benavidez’s newest CSULB graduate. Kristyn Benavidez Granddaughter; attending CSULB and is a junior in communication studies with a minor in marketing:

I chose Long Beach because of the family “ legacy and because CSULB offered athletic scholarships for soccer. My fondest memory was meeting my now best friends and getting to the NCAA women’s soccer playoffs.

As luck would have it for me, my future husband, Kirk, was the second student body president. He was a World War II veteran out of Santa Ana College and used his GI benefits to complete his education, getting his degrees in 1950 and 1953. I was impressed with this guy, and we were married in June 1951. Kirk passed away in October 2006. We lived in the Los Altos section of Long Beach, and the natural progression was to send our sons to Cal State Long Beach—really, no other considerations. Our sons were pleased with their experiences and earned their degrees in education, natural sciences and biomedical engineering (however, into adulthood, their career choices have changed). And they could remain at home with all the benefits of room and board. Kent even rode his bicycle to school each day.

What are some favorite memories at CSULB? Mary Lois VanSooy:

I will always remember Dr. Irving “from Ahlquist. I learned more California history him than in all my lower division classes.

We were all pioneers in what was to become the college it is today. During the move from the apartments to the lower campus, it rained…a lot. We parked our cars on the hill that is now below the University Student Union. On one very rainy day, the cars started to slide down the hill. I don’t recall any major damage to the vehicles as they slid slowly and piled up. The early 49er Days gave us a break from the business of learning. Each social group presented a fun booth with activities reflecting early California, a mule included.

Your family has quite a number of alumni bricks in our Alumni Brick Plaza. Why did you decide to take part in the Alumni Brick Plaza? Mary Lois VanSooy:

I’m proud of the fact that there are five VanSooys as graduates, starting with Kirk, who left an important imprint as student body president. Originally, retiring student body presidents were given a one-ounce silver bar engraved with their name, which served as a lifetime pass to student body sponsored functions. Todd plans on donating it to the Alumni Center when it opens. Kent VanSooy:

Long Beach was a fantastic place to grow “We’re up, from the beach to the parks to the schools. Long Beach natives to the core, and the opportunity to commemorate our ties to the area and to CSULB couldn’t be passed up.

Look online for future CSULB Generations stories at Would you like to share your family’s connection to CSULB? Contact Gay Arakawa in the Alumni Association office at or by phone at 562-985-5252 for more information.




February 2013, Tin Roof Bistro, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

March 2013, Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.

Photos by Richard Yamakawa

Photos by Sally Schliesmayer

Beach Alumni Mixer

Left to right: Adorliz Woodhouse (’12), Sara Vanni (’13) and Courtney Pugh (’13).

Left to right: Randa (’71), Clark, Ted and Jane Pearson prepare for the game!

CSU New York/Tri State Area Reception

Don Giovanni

February 2013, New York, N.Y.

April 2013, Karl Anatol Center and University Theater, CSULB


Recent grads gather at the Beach Alumni Mixer in Manhattan Beach.

Left to right: Teri T. Swanson (’65), emeritus faculty Ronald Schmidt, Friend of the University Steve Swanson, Robert S. Woods (’74) and Rosemary Taylor Schmidt (’64).

Left to right: Richard Kaku (’71), Big West Athletic Conference Commissioner Dennis Farrell and his wife, Charleen (’71), enjoy pre-tip-off festivities.

Photos by Leticia Lozoya

Photo by John De La Torre

Left to right: Christopher Mendoza, Sureya Sing (’13), Gustavo Mendoza (’11) and Phuoc Quach (’10).


Left to right: Nellie Bell (’59, ’62), Mary Mulloy (’57), Friend of the University Barbara Hogan, JoAnn Purcell (’58), Tom Greathead (’67, ’72) and Donna Ray (’59).

Men’s Basketball vs. University of Hawaii, Manoa

Alumni Grants Reception

Senior Beach Bash

February 2013, The Willows Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

April 2013, The Pointe, Walter Pyramid, CSULB

May 2013, Beach Club Restaurant, Long Beach, Calif.

Left to right: Chad Ngai (’96) and Gene Albano (’91).

Left to right: Van Morita (’71), Michael Gallo (’78), Victoria Gallo (’77), future 49er Macie Manion and Deborah Manion (’09).

The 2013 Alumni Association Grants’ Recipients.

Photo by Ilana Tel-Oren

Photos by Leticia Lozoya

Photo by Victoria Sanchez

Left to right: Friends of the University Ellie Johnson, Bud Johnson, and Gail and Dorothy Shoup.

Left to right: Moji Majekodunmi (’13) and Ryan Pfautz (’13).



Alumni Awards Banquet 2013 Photos by Dansen Lipock

May 2013, Hyatt Regency, Long Beach, Calif.

2013 Distinguished Alumna Dianne Van Hook (’72) (center) attends the Alumni Awards Banquet with her husband, Roger Van Hook (’66, ’68), and her mentor, Beverly O’Neill (’52, ’57).

Photos by David Schmitz

Former President F. King Alexander (right) greets Distinguished Alumnus and superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District, Chris Steinhauser (’81, ’84).


Former President F. King Alexander presents the 2013 President’s Distinguished Service Award to Sylvia Padilla (’90, ’92, ’07), who was recognized nationally as an exemplary teacher from the Long Beach Unified School District.

PRESIDENT KATHY BAZARIAN ’72, B.A., History Teacher Specialist, Downey Unified School District (ret.)

KIM A. ARMSTRONG ’88, B.A., Radio/TV/Film ’91, M.A., Instructional Systems Technology ’94, M.A., Special Major Senior Manager, Enterprise Learning Strategy & Integration

PRESIDENT-ELECT KATHLEEN HANSEN ’75, B.S., Family and Consumer Sciences ’82, M.B.A. President, Financial Planning Department, Inc.

GUY HESTON ’73, B.A., Radio/TV/Film ’87, M.B.A. Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Long Beach Transit (ret.)

PAST PRESIDENT JERRY K. GALBREATH ’62, B.S., Criminal Justice Senior Compliance Consultant, Auto Advisory Services

LUCIA GALINDO KOS ’75, B.A., Spanish Project Manager, Southern California Edison (ret.)

VICE PRESIDENT-MEMBERSHIP AND MARKETING NORMA KOLB ’60, B.A., Elementary Education ’89, Credential, Library/Media Teacher/Librarian, Long Beach Unified School District (ret.)

ALYCE LAVIOLETTE ’69, B.A., Psychology ’80, M.S., Psychology Psychotherapist, Consultant and Trainer

VICE PRESIDENT-PROGRAMS COLLEEN BENTLEY ’71, B.A., History Director of Special Projects, CSU Chancellor's Office

MARNOS LELESI ’83, M.A., Educational Administration Principal, Long Beach Unified School District (ret.)

SECRETARY RICK D. ALPERT ’80, B.A., Technical Theater Captain, L.A. County Fire Department (ret.)

ROBERT “BOB” MIYASAKI ’81, B.S., Zoology Dentist, Tri-City Dental Care, Cerritos

TREASURER ROBERT "BOB" IRWIN ’67, B.A., Mathematics Service Delivery Director, Computer Sciences Corporation (ret.)

ROBERT “BOB” SPIDELL ’65, B.A., Economics ’08, Doctor of Humane Letters Publisher, Spidell Publishing (ret.)

Recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award gathered at the Alumni Awards Banquet.

Commencement 2013 May 2013, Central Quad, CSULB Photos by David J. Nelson

Photo by Gay Arakawa

MEMBERS EDWARD APODACA ’84, B.A., English Language and Composition Customer Support Analyst, Verizon Fiber Solution Center

MICHAEL ANDERSON ’10, B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies Account Executive, Net Facilities

Left to right: Anthony Moreno (’13), Cole Conservatory of Music benefactor Regena Cole, Daniel Favela (’13) and Rudy Silva (’13).

Left to right: Interim President Donald Para with Distinguished Alumni Carson Lev (’80) and Ralph Opacic (’81).

NANCY YOHO ’81, B.A., Geography Vice President, Rand McNally and Company (ret.)


THE BEACH CONNECTION CSULB Alumni Association • 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840-8101




saturday november 9

Fall 2013 Beach Connection  

Recently, the Alumni Association asked alumni to let us know how they show off their Beach Pride. We received pictures ranging from alumni t...

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