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SF State Alumni Hall of Fame welcomes inductees



Denize Springer
SF State Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 405-3803
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


SF interim school superintendent, PG&E executive and civil rights activist, film critic will be honored. Filmmaker is 2007 Alumnus of the Year

SAN FRANCISCO, May 21, 2007 -- A San Francisco leader in education, a corporate and civil rights attorney and a radio and television personality will be inducted into the San Francisco State Alumni Hall of Fame at a campus reception on May 25. A documentary filmmaker will be honored as the Alumnus of the Year.

Gwen Chan (B.A., Chinese, '66 and M.A., Education, '92), Interim Superintendent of Schools, San Francisco Unified School District, and former Deputy Superintendent, is the first Chinese American to serve in each capacity. An educator for more than 39 years, Chan has been recognized as the SFUSD School Master of the Year (1996), and an Outstanding Woman of the Year by the Chinese Consolidated Women's Association (2006). In 1998 she was named to the World Journal's Top Ten Asians list.

Robert L. Harris (B.A., Sociology, '65), retired Vice President of Environmental, Health, Safety, Technical and Land Services at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is the first and only lawyer in the company's history to argue and win a case in the United States Supreme Court. As a civil rights activist, he has received the NAACP's highest legal honor, the "William Robert Ming Award" for litigating civil rights issues. His commitment to civic affairs also earned him Kappa Alpha Psi's highest honor, the "Laurel Wreath." He was named one of Ebony Magazine's 100 Most Influential Blacks in America on five different occasions.

Jan Wahl (B.A., Radio/Television, '75), is film critic at KRON-TV and culture and entertainment reporter for KCBS Radio. In Los Angeles Wahl was a documentary producer, stage manager and director of ABC TV shows including "Rona Barrett's Hollywood," "The Lawrence Welk Show," "Good Morning, America" and such specials as the Oscar and Grammy telecasts. She won Emmy Awards for producing and writing "They Still Say I Do," a humorous documentary on the palimony case of Lee and Michelle Triola Marvin and a KRON 4 special titled "A Filmgoer's Bill of Rights."

Arthur Dong (B.A. Film, '82) is this year's Alumnus of the Year. CEO of DeepFocus Productions, Inc., Dong is the Oscar- and Emmy-nominated filmmaker of such films as "Sewing Woman," about his mother's immigration to the United States from China; "Forbidden City," about Asian American nightclub performers, and "Coming Out Under Fire," an investigation of gay and lesbian soldiers during World War II. His new film, "Hollywood Chinese," a visual and cultural film about the Chinese in Hollywood feature films, will be released this fall.

The San Francisco State University Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes alumni who have earned the respect of their peers through professional, cultural and civic achievements. Previous inductees include Paul Ash, director of the San Francisco Food Bank, actress Annette Bening, jazz great John Handy, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and "Frazier" co-creator and executive producer Peter Casey.


PLEASE NOTE: Journalists who wish to cover SF State's Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony must contact the SF State Office of Public Affairs and Publications for media credentials and reserved parking no later than May 24. Please call (415) 338-1665.

Photos are available upon request.

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Last modified May 21, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications