Hazel Witten Mahone

Honorary Degrees


California State University, Sacramento​

Dr. Hazel Witten Mahone joined California State University, Sacramento in 1975 as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Education. She was promoted to Professor in 2002 and retired in 2014; her work was recognized with an Outstanding Service Award in 2014. Throughout her tenure on campus, as well as during her retirement, Dr. Mahone has continued to support the University personally and through her foundation, Vision 2000.

Dr. Mahone’s career began as a teacher in West Virginia shortly after the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling that outlawed segregation in public schools. As an African American woman, she blazed trails for her students. Since that time, she has taught at every level in K-12 and has been on the faculty at the University of the Pacific, San Francisco State University and Sacramento State. She was the Deputy Director of the California School Boards Association from 1978 to 1984, when she became Superintendent of the Grant Joint Union High School District, becoming the first female superintendent in Sacramento County history.

In 1991 Dr. Mahone left the position of Superintendent of Schools to create the Vision 2000 Educational Foundation, a college prep math and reading academy that provides educational, vocational and enrichment experiences for students in the public school system. Vision 2000 is a Sacramento State “Promise Zone” partner, collaborating with policymakers, school leaders and key community stakeholders to reduce the achievement gap. For 20 years Vision 2000 has held a summer college prep math and reading academy at Sacramento State serving hundreds of disadvantaged K-8 schoolchildren. It is one of the most important enrichment programs on Sacramento State's campus.

Dr. Mahone has received countless awards, including Sacramento County Educator of the Year, YMCA Woman of the Year, NAACP Woman of the Year, the Ford Foundation Award for Women Advancing Professionally, and the United Way Community Service Award. She was honored in 2016 by the California Legislature as one of twelve “Unsung Heroes” for dedicating her life to serve as a leader by empowering others through education, community service and academic perseverance. In 2015 The Hazel Mahone College Prep public school was named after her.

Dr. Mahone is an author, tireless advocate, academic coach and mentor for students, teachers and educational leaders. Her personal mission to be a fearless pioneer has been – and continues to be – a shining example for generations of future educators.

In recognition of her lifelong commitment to the excellence of education and educators and her tireless advocacy for underserved students, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Sacramento are proud to confer upon Dr. Hazel Witten Mahone the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.