Melba BealsCivil rights activist
One of the "Little Rock Nine" who integrated an all-white high school in Arkansas in 1957, this journalism grad, pictured left, is now chair of Dominican University's Communications Department. Her awards include the Congressional Gold Medal and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Excellence in Writing.
Photo courtesy of the Central High Museum Historical Collections/UALR Archives.Read more about Melba Beals
Randy HayesEnvironmental pioneer
His masters thesis in environmental planning, a 16 mm film about the desert, won Best Student Film from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and led to Hayes founding the Rainforest Action Network.
Norma HotalingCrusader for survivors of abuse, prostitution and trauma
She died in 2008 but her legacy lives on through Standing Against Global Exploitation, an organization she founded as part of her health education coursework at SF State.
Ralf HotchkissDisability activist
He used his $260,000 McArthur Foundation "genius" grant to start an SF State group that would become Whirlwind Wheelchair International, which helps people in developing countries build their own wheelchairs.Whirlwind Wheelchair International
Cleve JonesAIDS activist
The founder of the AIDS Memorial Quilt was an SF State student when he stitched the first panel of what would become the world's largest, ongoing community arts project.
Wilma MankillerAmerican Indian activist
Long before her selection as first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1985, she was an SF State student who participated in the Native American occupation of Alcatraz Island.
Joseph MarshallYouth advocate
This MacArthur "genius grant" recipient has been called the "Repo Man" for his remarkable ability to turn around the lives of teens in trouble with drugs and gangs.
Jerry NimsReligious activist
Jerry Falwell's successor as head of the Moral Majority turned toward conservatism after reading Marx and Lenin as an SF State student in the '60s.
Mario SavioFree speech activist
Though most closely associated with the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley, his alma mater is SF State, from which he graduated with highest honors in 1984.
Mu SochuaMember of Cambodian Parliament, human rights advocate
Her efforts against sex trafficking won her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination and a Human Rights Global Leadership Award from Vital Voices Global Partnership in 2005.Read more about Mu Sochua