Hannah-Beth JacksonApril 18, 2023 — The California State University system and CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) will award honorary degrees to two women who strongly supported the creation and growth of the Camarillo campus at the 2023 Commencement ceremonies.

CSUCI President Richard Yao will present former state Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson with a Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony being held on Saturday, May 20, at 9 a.m. at the Camarillo campus. Yao will honor the late Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez with the same doctorate, presenting it to her husband, Roy Prince, at the ceremony scheduled for Saturday, May 20, at 3 p.m.

A state assemblywoman representing Ventura County from 1998 to 2004, Jackson co-authored the 2001 bill that provided CSUCI with the land where the main entrance was built. She participated in the University’s opening ceremony and was among the leaders who guided its development as a green campus. She represented the district that includes CSUCI in the state Senate from 2012 to 2020.

“Ms. Jackson has been a supporter of the University even before its creation,” Yao said in his nomination.

Jackson has been particularly engaged with the University’s student government by attending meetings, helping to register students to vote during Ballot Bowls and elevating leaders’ voices. She spoke at the virtual Veterans Medallion Ceremony in 2020, encouraging the graduates during a difficult year.

“As a state legislator serving this community during the past two decades, I have watched with great pride as CSUCI has emerged to become one of California’s premier educational institutions. I am, therefore, deeply humbled and honored to receive this honorary degree,” Jackson said.

Ramirez, who died in August, advocated at the state level for the creation and funding of CSUCI. An attorney at the time, she shared her expertise as a member of the University’s President’s Advisory Board.

Carmen RamirezShe supported the launch of CSUCI’s Chicana/o Studies program and attended many of its open houses, exhibits, lectures and ceremonies. CSUCI’s Multicultural Programs presented her with its 2012 Recognition for Women’s Leadership. At the time of her death, the environmental justice advocate represented the district that includes CSUCI on the Ventura County Board of Supervisors and served on CSUCI’s Site Authority Board.

“She was a champion for the environment, a role model for Latinas and one of the reasons CSUCI exists today,” Yao said.

“The Ramirez family and I are grateful for CSUCI’s recognition of our beloved Carmen with this honorary degree. It’s meaningful because she was instrumental in the forming of CSUCI and worked closely with the University through the years because she believed in education for all people,” Prince said.

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