Story Leadership

Four CSU Leaders Honored as Woman of the Year by California Legislators

Christianne Salvador



​Four California State University leaders were honored as their respective district's Woman of the Year by various members of the California Legislature for their remarkable contributions to society.

Trustee Emily F. Hinton, President Erika D. Beck (California State University Channel Islands), President Dianne F. Harrison (California State University, Northridge) and President Mary Papazian (San José State University) were honored during a formal ceremony held in Sacramento on the floors of the State Senate and Assembly.

The Woman of the Year event was founded in 1987 in celebration of Women's History Month. Every March, senators and assembly members invite women to the Capitol who are making a difference in their communities throughout the state.

The event, sponsored by the California Legislative Women's Caucus, has become a meaningful tradition and an anticipated rite of spring in the California State Legislature. The Assembly and Senate pause from their usual business to bestow accolades to encourage women of all ages to pursue a life that benefits others.

Hinton, one of the CSU's two student Trustees, was recognized by Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, President Beck was recognized by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, President Harrison was recognized by Senator Robert Hertzberg and President Papazian was recognized by Assembly Member Evan Low.

The most diverse four-year university in the country, the CSU is also a leader in expanding the diversity of campus leadership. Since Chancellor Timothy P. White began his tenure in 2012, he has appointed 17 presidents, of whom 10 are women. Currently, 12 of the 23 campuses are led by women–52 percent of CSU presidents–which approximates the demographics of CSU's student population. Across the nation, roughly 30 percent of U.S. colleges and universities are led by a woman.

“With the majority of our 23 campuses now led by women presidents, the California State University is an exemplar for our state and nation," said White recently while discussing the CSU's landmark achievement. “We take immense pride in serving the country's most diverse group of students, and I am equally as proud that our leadership reflects the diversity of our students."​