Alice A. Huffman

Honorary Degrees

California State University, Sacramento​

A speech by John F. Kennedy inspired Alice A. Huffman to become a political activist. In every role, she works to bridge the gap between policymakers and the community, and she is tireless in leading efforts to protect and lift individuals.

Over the past 50 years, Ms. Huffman has had a significant impact on California. She has served three governors, both Democratic and Republican, and assists Governor Jerry Brown as a volunteer, helping him select African American appointees for state government and judiciary positions. She is president of the California/Hawaii State Conference of the NAACP and, as a testament to her outstanding leadership, she has won eight consecutive elections since taking the position in 1999.

In addition to her political service, Ms. Huffman served on the California State University Board of Trustees, working to ensure access to higher education for all qualified Californians. Ms. Huffman worked as assistant dean of admissions at University of California, Davis, and was a member of the University of California President’s Advisory Council Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion Committee. She has also sponsored the Alice Huffman STEM Program, which introduces underrepresented youth to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, along with various concepts of social justice.

When she was young, circumstances required Ms. Huffman to drop out of high school, but she went on to graduate from University of California, Berkeley in only 2 ½ years. That experience as a student from an underprivileged background helps inform her work as an outstanding advocate for access to higher education.

Ms. Huffman has received many national and state awards and is annually included in the list of 100 Most Influential Californians by the Sacramento Observer and Capitol Weekly. She clearly represents the aspirations of the CSU for its diverse student body and a more inclusive society.

In recognition of her many contributions to the community and the California State University system, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Sacramento are proud to confer upon Alice A. Huffman the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.