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She has attended 53 commencements at Stan State. Now it’s her turn to be honored

Dorothy Bizzini, a major benefactor of California State University, Stanislaus, will receive an honorary doctorate at one of its commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 23, 2019.
Dorothy Bizzini, a major benefactor of California State University, Stanislaus, will receive an honorary doctorate at one of its commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 23, 2019. California State University, Stanislaus

Dorothy Bizzini, a longtime benefactor of California State University, Stanislaus, will receive an honorary doctorate at one of its commencements.

The May 23-24 ceremonies at the Turlock campus also will feature keynote addresses by Modesto cheesemaker Edwin Rizo, farm labor leader Dolores Huerta and Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock.

Bizzini will receive a doctorate of humane letters at the 9 a.m. May 23 ceremony for the College of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. She has been a spectator at all but one of the commencements since Stan State started holding them on campus in 1965.

The retired nurse and her husband, retired veterinarian Bill Bizzini, have made million-dollar gifts to this school, Merced College and the University of California, Merced. Their name is on Bizzini Hall, one of the two original buildings at Stan State.

Dorothy Bizzini graduated from Gustine High School, became a registered nurse through Sacramento Junior College, and earned a bachelors in nursing education at Sacramento State University.

She has helped oversee Atwater/Merced Veterinary Clinic and then branched out with Bizzini Investments, Bizzini Properties and Dorothy Lee Apartments. The couple recently agreed to chair a $1 million fundraising drive for Stan State athletics scholarships.

“We’re very fortunate to be a part of the university,” Dorothy Bizzini said in a new release. “When we go to the games, I just love sitting there talking to the kids. I’ll introduce myself, and the kids will recognize our name from the building on campus.”

Details on the 2019 keynote speakers:

  • Huerta will speak at the same ceremony where Bizzini will be honored. She co-founded the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez and is founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. She a earned a teaching credential from the University of the Pacific in Stockton and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2012.
  • Rizo will speak at the 6 p.m. May 23 commencement for the College of Business Administration and the College of Education, Kinesiology and Social Work. He started Rizo Lopez Foods, which makes cheese and other products under the Don Francisco label, in Riverbank in 1990. It moved to Modesto in 2012 and now employs about 250 people.
  • Harder, elected to his first term in November, will speak at the 9 a.m. May 24 commencement for the College of Science. His brother, David Harder, is among the graduates. Josh Harder graduated from Modesto High School and Stanford University, then earned a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School. He worked as a venture capitalist in New York and San Francisco before moving back to Turlock in 2017.

Workplace honors

Ali Cox & Company Marketing in Turlock has been named one of Best Workplaces for 2019 by Inc. magazine. It is the only company in the Northern San Joaquin Valley among the 346 on the list, chosen from about 2,000 applicants.

The magazine made the choices based an an employee survey that included trust, management effectiveness, benefits and confidence in the future.

Ali Cox & Company marketing will be featured in the June 2019 Inc. magazine issue, and as part of a prominent Inc.com feature.

And finally ...

Claudia Newcorn received the 2019 Impact Award from the Central California Small Business Development Center Network. She does consulting with companies that include manufacturing, restaurants and retail out of a center serving Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa and Tuolumne counties.

Names of Note recognizes people and organizations for their contribution to their communities. Submit items to jholland@modbee.com.

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