Student advocate Alice A. Huffman honored by Sac State

Alice A. Huffman, a woman who has attained wide respect as a leader and advocate for the African American community, is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Sacramento State and the California State University. She will be recognized during Spring Commencement ceremonies on May 18 at Golden 1 Center.

Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen said the honorary doctorate is an acknowledgment of the tremendous impact Huffman has had in the region. She and the others receiving honorary doctorates this spring “have transformed Sacramento through their creativity, wisdom, generosity, and work. I am extremely pleased that we are able to celebrate them this spring.”


Huffman clearly represents the aspirations of the CSU for its diverse student body and a more inclusive society. After dropping out of high school, she overcame significant challenges and went on to graduate with honors from UC Berkeley.

Huffman served as a lobbyist and then Director of Political Affairs for the California Teachers Association from 1985 to 1994. She was elected president of the California Hawaii NAACP in 1999, since winning eight consecutive elections. Throughout, Huffman has supported the California State University system and is a former member of the CSU Board of Trustees.

Huffman continues to show her support for students by attending and speaking at events of the College of Education and Doctorate in Educational Leadership program. Her longstanding career as an advocate for educational opportunities for underrepresented youth in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields was evidenced through her Alice Huffman STEM program for youth. The California NAACP has also hosted graduate student interns from the Sacramento State Pathways Fellows grant program.

“Alice Huffman clearly represents the aspirations of the CSU for its diverse student body and a more inclusive society,” said Julian Vasquez Heilig, Director of the Sacramento State Doctorate in Educational Leadership program and NAACP Education Chair. “Her incredible legacy for millions of Americans lies in the fact that she is deeply committed to equality and equity for all Americans, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve those ends. She is an extremely capable, influential and gracious professional.”

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