DONALD T. SAWYER, you have helped to make California State University East Bay a beacon of hope and opportunity. During the past 44 years, as a student, an athlete, an alumnus, an assistant coach, a coach, a lecturer, a professor, an administrator, a mentor, and an advisor, you have established a legacy of excellence and tremendous achievement which will forever live on throughout the University and in the souls of those whose lives you have touched and inspired.
AS A COACH, faculty member and chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, you displayed your gift for empowering students, faculty, and staff to reach their potential; indeed, many would not have realized that they could have achieved so much were it not for your fierce, principled, and compassionate guidance. You are a consensus builder who has contributed extensively to faculty governance and the operations of the University.
FOR SOMEONE WHO NEVER DREAMED IT POSSIBLE to attend, much less succeed in college, you were the first in your family to attend Cal State and you were a role model to your siblings who followed in your path. In the course of your career, you earned your bachelor’s degree and teaching credential from then Cal State Hayward, your master’s degree from San Francisco State University, and your doctorate in education from the University of San Francisco. Given the opportunity to achieve these educational milestones and transform your life, you have devoted your life to providing that same opportunity to countless others.
DON SAWYER, for all that you have accomplished, for all whom you have inspired, and for your unwavering commitment and dedication to the mission and ideals of California State University East Bay, we salute you and we thank you, knowing well that the full extent of your service to the University and the knowledge you have imparted to students and colleagues is immeasurable.
IN THE COURSE OF YOUR HONORABLE AND DISTINGUISHED CAREER, your idealism and charisma have guided innumerable lives, and there can be no doubt that your contributions have been noble, profoundly worthwhile, and in the service of the greater good. You leave a true legacy behind you, and your presence, insight, and guidance will be sorely missed.
ABOVE ALL, you have always conducted your work with integrity and in a highly ethical manner, always placing students’ interests and welfare foremost. You are one of the finest educators, leaders, and inspirations to have ever served California State University East Bay.
AND SO IT IS FITTING THAT THE INSCRIPTION ON YOUR MEDAL READS: “Educator, Leader, Inspiration.” Don Sawyer, you are a unique individual and an exceptional member of the University Family. It is a privilege and an honor to present to you now the President’s Medal for Service.
Conferred June 16, 2012 at California State University East Bay’s 52nd Commencement Exercises
LEROY M. MORISHITA
PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, EAST BAY