SF State News {University Communications}

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News Release


SF State Alumni Hall of Fame welcomes new inductees


SAN FRANCISCO, May 18, 2009 -- A popular actor will be honored as the Alumnus of the Year and a former NFL star, the first woman to command a U.S. Navy ship and an Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker will be inducted into the San Francisco State University Alumni Hall of Fame at a campus ceremony on May 22.  In addition, a local educator and member of the Alumni Hall of Fame will be awarded the SF State President's Medal.
Jeffrey Tambor (B.A. Drama, 1965) will be named Alumnus of the Year.  A six-time Emmy nominee, Tambor's four-decade acting career includes starring roles on the television hits "Arrested Development" and "The Larry Sanders Show," and appearances on other legendary sitcoms including "M*A*S*H," and "Taxi." Tambor made his Broadway debut in 1975 opposite George C. Scott in "Sly Fox" and most recently returned to Broadway in David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Glengarry Glen Ross." He resides in Los Angeles.


New inductees are:
Bill Baird (B.A. Kinesiology and Credentials in Secondary Education, 1962) was a seven-year defensive starter for the New York Jets and contributed to the legendary upset over the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl. When he retired, Baird held several team career records including most interceptions and longest punt return at 93 yards. In 2003, when Jets fans chose their dream team of Jets greats, Baird was selected for the Four Decade Team. Baird taught or coached in high schools and colleges including Fresno State and University of the Pacific and was previously inducted into the SF State Athletics Hall of Fame. He resides in Fresno.

Darlene Iskra  (B.A. Recreation, 1974) joined the Navy in 1979 and broke the "brass ceiling" in 1990 when she became the nation's first woman commander of a commissioned naval vessel, the U.S.S. Opportune. A Navy-trained diver, Iskra skippered the diving salvage ship in the Mediterranean during the Persian Gulf War. After retiring from the Navy in 2000, she helped pass the Defense Authorization Bill, which prevented the Department of Defense from requiring U.S. servicewomen to wear ethnic garments while stationed in Saudi Arabia. Iskra earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Maryland where she currently teaches military leadership and sociology. She is a resident of College Park, Md.

Steven Okazaki (B.A. Film, 1976) is an award-winning filmmaker who received his fourth Academy Award nomination in 2009 for the documentary short "The Conscience of Nhem En." He won an Oscar and a Peabody Award for his 1990 short subject documentary, "Days of Waiting," about a Caucasian artist who accompanied her Japanese American husband to a World War II internment camp. Okazaki’s "White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki" was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and won an Emmy in 2007. Other films nominated for Academy Awards were "Unfinished Business" and "The Mushroom Club."  He resides in Berkeley.


SF State Alumni Hall of Famer and retired San Francisco public school teacher and administrator Isadore (Izzy) Pivnick will be awarded the prestigious President's Medal. The medal recognizes individuals whose contributions have provided long-lasting and widespread benefits for the University and the greater community. Pivnick, a retired, award-winning teacher and administrator in the San Francisco Unified School District, was SF State student body president in 1946-47. He led 2,000 students in a peaceful City Hall demonstration that resulted in the sale of property to the state that is now SF State's permanent home. The highest award that a CSU president can bestow, the President's Medal has been awarded to a host of distinguished individuals including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Diane Feinstein and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.


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 Director of the San Francisco Food Bank Paul Ash, actress Annette Bening, E-LOAN Co-Founder and CEO Chris Larsen, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, and physician and NASA astronaut Yvonne Cagle.


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Photos are available upon request.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Reporters interested in covering SF State's Alumni Hall of Fame reception are asked to contact the University Communications office for media credentials and reserved parking. Please call (415) 338-1665.



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