Many notable stars are Sac State alumnis

Michael Angelone

As the latest crop of graduates get ready to receive theirdiplomas from Sacramento State this semester, let us remember thefamous &- and sometimes infamous &- alums and attendeeswho once trod the same paths that we do today.

Tom Hanks isn’t the only one. Famous alumnus make up along and distinguished list which stretches across a wide range ofdisciplines, from Grammy-Award winning musicians to acclaimedjournalists.

Bobby McFerrin is one alum from the music world. He is one ofthe world’s best-known vocal innovators and improvisers, aworld-renowned classical conductor, and a passionate spokesman formusic education. He’s probably best known for his single”Don’t Worry Be Happy.”

His recordings have sold over 20 million copies, and hiscollaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, Chick Corea, the Vienna Philharmonicand Herbie Hancock have established him as an ambassador of boththe classical and jazz worlds.

Yet McFerrin’s reach extends well beyond musical circles:he’s worked with actor Jack Nicholson, comedians RobinWilliams and Billy Crystal, The Muppets and audiences around theworld.

Muscular character actor Rick Rossovich was in his early 20swhen he showed up as a teenaged military-academy cadet named Pig inThe Lords of Discipline (1983). Rossovich’s most famous filmrole was Chris McDowell, the handsome but tongue-tied suitor toDarryl Hannah in “Roxanne” (1987).

His best known foil character was Slider from the film”Top Gun.”

Rossovich’s TV series credits include such recurring rolesas Geller in McGruder and Loud (1985), and football coach SpudLincoln in Sons and Daughters (1991).

During the first (1994-95) season of the NBC megahit”ER,” Rick Rossovich was seen as Dr. John Taglieri.Rick Rossovich8212;well-known character actor, and SacramentoState Alumnus.

A multi-talented TV personality, Joan Lunden is best known forher hosting duties on ABC’s “Good MorningAmerica.” Currently she hosts “Biography” onA&E.

She started her broadcasting career in 1973 as a weatherpersonand consumer reporter at KCRA-TV Sacramento. Within six months,Lunden was promoted to co-anchor of the noon news broadcast.

In 1975, she moved to WABC-TV in NYC and the following year sheco-anchored the weekend newscasts. Lunden began her associationwith ABC’s “Good Morning America” in 1976 as aconsumer reporter. She began to act as substitute host in 1978 andbecame a permanent host in 1981.

Her contract at the time caused some controversy for its childcare clause that allowed her to bring her children to work andrequired the network to provide a nursery.

Raed Hijazi a convicted terrorist thought to have been involvedin the September 11th attacks studied here.

So did Sarah Dutra, who was a senior when she was convicted onmanslaughter charges for aiding Laren Sims Jordan in the murder ofher husband, Sacramento attorney Larry McNabney.

Other famous alums include filmmaker Joe Carnahan, director ofthe critically acclaimed film “Narc.”

Local famous alums include both Paul Robins and Phil Cowan,better known as Paul and Phil on the radio.

On the political scene, famous alumni include Senator PhilIsenberg, former representatives Vic Fazio and Richard Rainey, notto mention both the Sacramento Sheriff and the Chief of Police, aswell as Director of the Secret Service.

Hornets in the pros include Chad Elliott, and pitcher for theNew York Mets. Casey Fuller, outfielder for the ColoradoRockies.

We have had many athletes in other sports make it to the pros,as well. Otis Gillespie, a famous tight end for the Dallas Cowboysin the late 70s and early 80s, is also a graduate.

We can even claim the Taco Bell chihuahua as a Hornet – he wasvoiced by actor Carlos Alazraqui, a former Sac State student.