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State Senator, Former News Anchor to Keynote University's 46th Annual Commencement
Former anchorwoman Michele Ruiz and State Senator Dick Ackerman chosen as the keynote speakers for 2005 commencement

April 28, 2005 :: No. 183

Former NBC4 news anchor Michele Ruiz and state Sen. Dick Ackerman (R-Tustin) will address the Class of 2005 as keynote speakers for Cal State Fullerton’s 46th annual commencement ceremonies.

Ruiz, a CSUF graduate, will step to the podium for the Saturday, May 28, ceremony. Ackerman will address attendees at the Sunday, May 29, ceremony. Both events are scheduled for 8 a.m. on the lawn north of Titan Gymnasium, followed by college-based exercises.

Ruiz, who joined NBC4 as a general assignment reporter in April 1998, co-anchored weekday editions of the “Channel 4 News” with Chuck Henry. She has been known to Southern California audiences since 1991, when she first joined KTLA as a field reporter for the morning news and co-hosted the weekly public affairs program “Making It! Minority Success Stories.”

She is a five-time Emmy Award honoree and four-time Golden Mike recipient. While at KTLA, she won three Los Angeles-area Emmys and two Golden Mikes. In 2003, she won two more Emmys for her work on NBC4 news specials “Journey to Africa” and “LA Riots: Rubble to Rebirth.” She has received numerous honors, including two Golden Mikes, for her work on NBC4’s “Beating the Odds” series, and in 2002 was presented the LA Press Club Award for a series on autism.

The journalist earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in radio/TV/film in 1988 and began her broadcasting career as a news anchor for Channel One, a national news program for high school students. She is a board member of Para Los Ninos, an organization devoted to inner-city children, and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc., the Radio Television News Directors Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Ackerman, a former mayor and city councilman for the city of Fullerton, has represented Orange County in the state Legislature for 10 years. He was elected to the Assembly in 1995, then was elected to the state Senate in 2000. Last May, he was unanimously elected as the state Senate Republican leader.

In addition, Ackerman has served as vice chair of the Assembly’s Natural Resources and Judiciary committees, as well as vice chair of the senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, assistant Republican leader and Republican caucus whip.

Before his election to the state Legislature, Ackerman was a member of the CSUF University Advisory Board. He has received several accolades, including Legislator of the Year awards from the University of California, California Charter Schools Association, Orange County League of Cities and Republican Party of Orange County; Distinguished Service Award from the Black Chamber of Commerce of Orange County; Elected Official of the Year Award from the Orange County Committee for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities; and Fullerton Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year Award.

An alumnus of UC Berkeley and UC Hastings College of the Law, Ackerman has practiced law for more than 30 years and serves as counsel with the firm of Rutan & Tucker.

Media Contacts: Pamela McLaren at 657-278-4852 or
Valerie Orleans at 657-278-4540 or
Paula Selleck at 657-278-4856 or


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Anchorwoman Michele Ruiz
Michele Ruiz

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Senator Dick Ackerman
State Senator Dick Ackerman

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