California State University, Dominguez Hills

10/24/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/25/2017 11:33

Mark Ridley-Thomas Among Honorees at 2017 Founders’ Dinner

(Carson, Ca.) - California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) will honor those who have contributed to building strength and vibrancy within local communities, are dedicated to civic engagement, and have helped CSUDH provide education, scholarship, and services that are accessible and transformative during its 2017 Founders' Dinner: Accelerating Success on Oct. 26 at the Porsche Experience Center.

WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, Oct. 26, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The event will take place at the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles, located at 19800 South Main Street, Carson, CA 90745.

2017 Founders' Dinner Honorees:

President's Award: Toyota USA. One of the university's highest honors, the award is given for extraordinary philanthropy that has had a transformative impact on CSUDH's mission. The inaugural award recognizes innovators for long-term, cumulative contributions to the university who have supported talented students, have helped academic programs grow and prosper, and have inspired others to contribute to the greater good.

'The Founders' Dinner showcases the best of California State University, Dominguez Hills-our history, our impact, and the accomplished people who make the university what it is today,' said CSUDH President Willie J. Hagan. 'Toyota's extraordinary commitment to Dominguez Hills is unparalleled, and their most recent support of our new Mobile Fabrication Labs and the future Science and Innovation building make them one of our most transformative partners.'

Community Leadership Award: The Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas, chairman and supervisor of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The award recognizes a visionary and dedicated community leader who has gone above and beyond in committing time and energy to addressing critical issues and improving local communities. Overwhelmingly elected in 2008, and re-elected in 2012 and 2016, Ridley-Thomas is the longest-serving member on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. He represents the Second District, and will complete his final term as supervisor in 2020.

Founders' Award: Hansonia Caldwell Harriford, emeritus professor of music at CSUDH. The Founders' Awards is presented to an organization or individual who has worked to build the university into a thriving center for higher education. During her 45-year tenure at CSUDH, Caldwell Harriford has made significant and enduring contributions to music education, and in the communities the university serves. For 11 years, she coordinated the Living Legends Festival Concert, celebrating the musical masters of African Diaspora Sacred Music with performances that brought distinguished conductors and composers to the university. She also served for 12 years as a member of the board of directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and currently is on the board of the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, and the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles.

Distinguished Alumni Award: John Tracy, (retired) chief technology officer (CTO) and senior vice president for The Boeing Company. The award is presented in recognition of a CSUDH alumni who have achieved a high level of success in his or her profession, while gaining distinction for their service to the university and their communities. Tracy retired in 2016 after a 35-year career at Boeing. During his last 10 years as CTO he led more than 100,000 employees at the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems.

Student Civic Engagement Award: Ramneek Kaur, a cellular and molecular biology major at CSUDH. The award is presented to a CSUDH student who has made a positive impact on the lives of others through civic engagement and public service. Kaur is president and a founding member of the on-campus student organization Homeless Outreach Promoting Empathy (H.O.P.E.), which was established in spring 2013 to bring more awareness to the social consequences of homelessness, and provide an avenue for students to interface with homeless individuals.


About California State University, Dominguez Hills
California State University, Dominguez Hills, centrally located in the greater Los Angeles South Bay region, is a model urban university with a wide range of academic programming, providing accessible, high quality, and transformative education to students aspiring to succeed and thrive in a complex, global society. Since 1960, CSU Dominguez Hills has served a diverse community of learners and educators collaborating to change lives and communities for the better. A national model and laboratory for student success, the university offers a proven path to opportunity and social equity, advancing a college-focused culture in the communities it serves while providing vital resources of knowledge, talent, and leadership to the greater Los Angeles region and beyond.

Today, CSU Dominguez Hills boasts over 100,000 alumni - doctors, scientists, engineers, educators, entrepreneurs - who are leaders in education, health, technology, entertainment, public service, and business, making a difference in their fields, in people's lives, and in their communities. For more information, visit