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News & Events: Alumni Awards

Each fall, the Alumni Association of Golden Gate University honors graduates of the university and other members of the GGU community who have achieved excellence in their chosen field or have made a difference in the community in which they live.


Group of Students

Enjoy an elegant three-coursemeal with alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends at our signature alumni event to honor alumni and other members of the GGU community.

Date: Wed,Oct. 30, 2013
Time: 11:30 am reception, 12:15 pm lunch
Location:Four Seasons Hotel, San Francisco
Cost: $45 per person; $25 for students
RSVP:Click Here
Contact: Alumni Services at 415-442-7812 or


Alumnus/Alumna of the Year

Given to an alumnus or alumna whose professional accomplishments and contributions to the community are worthy of recognition.

Joel Isaacson (MBA 85)

Joel Isaacson is the founder and president of Joel Isaacson & Co. LLC, a New York-based financial and tax planning firm. Known as one of the pioneers in the industry, Isaacson frequently makes Worth magazine's list of "Top Financial Advisors" in America. He is often quoted in financial publications, on radio and on television, and has served as chairman and president of the New York Chapter of the International Association for Financial Planning.

Amicus Award

Given to those whose efforts have resulted in significant contributions to the university's resources and, thereby, to its educational capabilities and services.


Chevron has been a valued GGU partner for more than 35 years, and has strengthened the university with contributions of nearly $800,000. The corporation has provided funding for technology upgrades in classrooms, scholarships, online career development and building projects, as well as matching funds for hundreds of employee gifts. Chevron employees that GGU counts among its family are Trustee Dale Walsh (BS 81) and Lydia Beebe (MBA 80), former trustees chief governance officer.

Community Service Award

Given in recognition of outstanding leadership and service contributions to the community.

Leona Bridges (MBA 84)

Leona Bridges is a former managing director for Barclays Global Investors in San Francisco, and serves on the city's Employees' Retirement System board of directors. She has been a member of the Edward S. Ageno School of Business Advisory Board since April 2007, and is now the board chair. Bridges also serves on numerous community and nonprofit boards, including the West Bay Local Development Corp. and American Baptist Seminary of the West.

Distinguished GGU Service Award

Given to a GGU faculty or staff member in recognition of exemplary leadership and service.

Genell Dickey

Genell Dickey has been the switchboard operator and receptionist at GGU for 25 years. A mother and grandmother, her professional and personal interests include attending seminars, starting a book club and writing an article for Arthritis Today magazine. In particular, Dickey has a passion for mentoring others through work with the Arthritis Foundation. Interacting with students and staff, and offering words of support when they most need it is one of her key pleasures.

Rising Star Award

Given to a recent graduate (within ten years) who exhibits extraordinary professional achievements and contributions to the community.

Adrian Fueyo (MS 08)

Adrian Fueyo is the director of Integrated Digital Marketing at NBCUniversal's Spanish-language Telemundo Media. He has 10 years of experience developing integrated marketing campaigns for brands including Allstate, AT&T, Kia, Old Navy and Sprint. Fueyo is responsible for the ad-sales strategy development of Telemundo Media's digital campaigns, as well as other NBCUniversal and Comcast properties such as iVillage, Fandango and

Volunteer of the Year

Given to a person who demonstrates exceptional service to the university through volunteer activities.

Francis Ryu (JD 95)

Francis Ryu, honored as a Super Lawyer in 2012 and 2013, is founder and general partner at Ryu Law Firm, a Los Angeles-based business litigation firm. He has earned a reputation as a champion for GGU students and recent graduates, many of whom he has taken under his wing as a mentor. He also hosts GGU Law alumni and admissions events in Los Angeles. Ryu is the former president of the California State Bar's Young Lawyers' Association and the Beverly Hills Bar Association's Barristers.


A committee of the Alumni Association board of directors approves nominations in May. Winners of these awards are recognized at the Alumni Awards Luncheon held annually on the third Wednesday in October. Awardees must be present to accept their awards. We invite you to nominate GGU alumni you believe to be deserving of the Alumnus/Alumna of the Year, Distinguished GGU Service or Community Service awards. Nominations must be submitted no later than May 15 of the award year.