FREDERICK DOUGLAS CORNETT (’57) served as part of the Intelligence Corps during World War II as an interpreter in the U.S. Army. He later taught physiology at Santa Monica High School for 37 years and was a faculty member at Santa Monica College teaching biology.
LYNN REITNOUER (’59 M.A.) served as a board member and chair for many organizations, and most recently was mayor of San Marino. Forest Lawn Memorial Park has posthumously dedicated its boardroom to Reitnouer.
AILEEN HERNANDEZ (’61), feminist trailblazer and former president of the National Organization for Women, battled sex discrimination. Within NOW, Hernandez organized the Women’s Strike for Equality in 1970. The same year, Hernandez testified before a Senate subcommittee in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment. She was the education and public relations director of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union West Coast division and founded the groups Black Women Organized for Political Action and Black Women Stirring the Waters.
JAMES D. BOULGARIDES was professor emeritus of marketing. He served in the Navy as an aviation technician during WWII. In 1966, his family relocated to Culver City when he became a manager at McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company. In 1972, Boulgarides was elected to the Culver City Council, where he served a total of 16 years, including two terms as mayor.
JOHN BENOIT (’78), elected official and former public safety officer, held positions in the California state Assembly and state Senate, and most recently represented the Fourth District on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
JEWEL PLUMMER COBB was the third president of California State University, Fullerton and served as trustee professor at Cal State LA, where she was principal investigator of the ACCESS Center.
Before she began her career in academic administration, Cobb was a research scientist. She focused on early chemotherapy treatments for melanoma and other cancers and received prestigious postdoctoral fellowships, including one at the National Cancer Institute.
Cobb served as president of Cal State Fullerton from October 1981 to August 1990. She was the first African American woman to lead a major university west of the Mississippi. During her presidency, Cobb obtained the funds for the construction of several buildings, including a sports complex and the Ruby Gerontology Center. She established schools for communications, engineering and computer science. Cobb was a staunch advocate for science education among minorities and women.
Cobb was awarded more than 20 honorary doctorates, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Sciences. She was once asked how she would like to be remembered. Cobb responded with: “I think I’d like to be remembered as a black woman scientist who cared very much about what happens to young folks, particularly women going into science.”
JEROME K. CROWE (’76 M.S.) was a retired FBI agent who founded the agency’s first SWAT team in Los Angeles. Crowe served as an agent in the FBI’s Los Angeles field office from 1952 until his retirement in 1979 and was involved in high-profile cases such as the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. and the Symbionese Liberation Army shootout that followed the kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patty Hearst.
DONALD O. DEWEY, professor emeritus of history, served as a faculty member at Cal State LA for four decades, specializing in U.S. constitutional history in the 18th and 19th centuries. Dewey served as dean of what is now the College of Arts and Letters from 1970 to 1984 and was the founding dean of what is now the College of Natural and Social Sciences, where he served from 1984 to 1996. He received the Cal State LA Outstanding Professor Award in 1975-1976. Dewey served on the Academic Senate for 44 years, including as a representative for emeriti faculty. During his career, he established himself as a nationally recognized authority on the constitutional history of the early United States, publishing numerous articles and two books, Marshall Versus Jefferson: The Political Background of Marbury v. Madison and James Madison, Defender of the Republic. Dewey authored That’s A Good One!: Cal State L.A. at 50, a humorous volume on the University’s first half-century he gifted to Cal State LA on its 50th anniversary. He once described the book as, “50 years of learning and laughing, high endeavor and high jinks at California State University, Los Angeles.”
JAMES M. GARRETT, chair and professor in the Cal State LA Department of English, served on the University faculty for more than 20 years. Garrett, who received a master’s degree at Cal State LA, was an expert on British romantic literature and the works of William Wordsworth. He was director of the University’s Writing Proficiency Exam and previously served as director of the University Writing Center and a member on the Academic Senate, among other positions.
COACH JOHN HERBOLD was a coaching icon in Southern California baseball circles.Herbold, who was a baseball coach for 49 years at the high school and college level, enjoyed a record-setting 21-year career at Cal State LA and led his teams to 455 victories. He became Cal State LA’s all-time leader in wins in 2002 and was the University’s head coach from 1984 to 2004.
He was inducted into Cal State LA’s Hall of Fame in 2015. Herbold’s No. 28 uniform number was officially retired at the induction ceremony and Herbold’s family members were presented with a framed Cal State LA baseball jersey.
Herbold’s 1997 and 1998 teams were among the program’s best and won back-to-back California Collegiate Athletic Association championships with a combined record of 41-23 in conference play. The 1998 squad earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Many Cal State LA alumni advanced to the professional ranks under Herbold’s tenure, including outfielder Jay Gibbons and pitcher Mike Burns, who started his collegiate career as an infielder and became a Major League Baseball pitcher.
HERMAN D. LUJAN was the University’s former provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
Lujan came to Cal State LA in 2001 and brought a wealth of experience. He had served as vice provost and vice president at the University of Washington, president of the University of Northern Colorado, and chief academic officer for the Connecticut State University System. Lujan was a leading voice for higher education. He served with President William A. Covino on the CSU Provost’s Council, where Lujan was a valued mentor to many.
Deeply committed to diversity, Lujan championed programs that expanded opportunities for students, faculty and staff. Long before the proliferation of online learning programs, he viewed technology as a powerful tool of instruction and played a key role in bringing distance learning to Cal State LA. Leading the creation of the University’s 2005 Strategic Plan, Lujan invited input from students, faculty and staff, opening the planning process in a way that was considered pathbreaking.
Lujan’s personal attributes are as well remembered as his numerous accomplishments. Many recall Lujan’s kindness and exceptional patience, his willingness to listen and his love of poetry. He was fond of ending large University meetings with the reading of a poem. The work of Pablo Neruda was among his favorites.
JIM NEWMAN was a legendary coach in Southern California and Cal State LA’s former head men’s basketball coach.
Newman began a successful basketball career at Jefferson High School and continued at L.A. Harbor Junior College, where he set a single-season scoring record for the school and was named the state’s Most Valuable Player. He went on to Arizona State, where he led the team in scoring during his junior and senior seasons. He was eventually drafted by the Syracuse Nationals, but opted to pursue an administrative and coaching career instead.
He was a varsity assistant coach at Compton High School and later a head coach at Centennial High School. Newman made his mark at Compton College, where he coached a pair of state championship teams. His 1970 team was 33-0 and considered one of the top junior college teams in history. That team scored 166 points in a game, which is still a record. Newman went on to serve as an assistant coach at Division I programs at New Mexico and Arizona State.
At Cal State LA, Newman guided the team to a pair of winning seasons in his four-year career, including back-to-back years of 18-10 and 16-8 in the 1984-85 and 1985-86 campaigns. His teams finished tied for third in the California Collegiate Athletic Association in both seasons. Newman had a record of 50-55 in his four seasons at Cal State LA.
KEN RYAN, STEM librarian at Cal State LA, was a highly respected member of the University Library faculty for nearly 30 years. Ryan received the Cal State LA Innovative Instruction Award in 1997-1998. He served as chair of the Library Faculty Affairs Committee from 1990 to 1992, 2002 to 2004, and 2007 to 2009 and was a member of the California State University Electronic Access to Information Resources Committee from 2012 to 2014.
RONALD H. SILVERMAN, was an emeritus professor of art and a member of the Department of Art faculty from 1955 to 1988. Throughout his career, Silverman authored and edited books on art education. He established the Ronald Silverman Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support to art education students at Cal State LA.
DAVID LEE SMITH (’63 B.A.), had a successful 39-year career as a real estate broker in Pasadena. Smith was passionate about giving back to his community. He worked with the YMCA in Los Angeles and Pasadena and served as a past president of the Pasadena Host Lions Club, on the board of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association and the American Cancer Society, among many other organizations.
Lead photo: Image courtesy of Cal State LA Special Collections & Archives “Pictures of Our Past” Collection.