Butte College will honor its outstanding alumni of the year at the College’s Spring Gala event on Saturday, March 26 at the CSU, Chico Bell Memorial Union, 400 West First Street, in Chico. This special event is a fundraiser for the Butte College Foundation and Athletics Department and recognizes alumni who have personally and professionally distinguished themselves in their particular field of study, life’s work, or community service.
College President, Dr. Diana Van Der Ploeg, announced that the college will recognize Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, David Lundberg of Lundberg and Lundberg Partnership, and CAL-FIRE-Butte County Fire Chief George W. Morris Jr. this year. “All three alumni have demonstrated tremendous dedication, commitment, and leadership, both locally and statewide,” said Van Der Ploeg.
Assemblyman Bill Berryhill represents the 26th District of the California Legislature and is a 1979 Butte College alumnus. He is a fourth generation Californian whose roots in agriculture and public service run deep. He has served on the boards of both the Allied Grape Growers and the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau. Berryhill was recognized by the Ceres Chamber of Commerce as Agra Businessman of the year in 2001, and served 11 years on the Ceres Unified School District Board of Trustees.
He was elected to the State Assembly in 2008 where he was Vice Chair of the Labor and Employment Committee. Other committees served include Budget, Elections and Redistricting, as well as Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy (JEDE). In 2010, the California State Sheriff’s Association named Berryhill “Legislator of the Year.” Berryhill credits his active student leadership involvement during his time at Butte for guiding him along his career path saying, “Butte College provided the leadership skills I needed and still use today.”
For more than 30 years, alumnus David Lundberg has advocated for the history and protection of North State farmers. Born in Chico and raised in Richvale, David is a third generation rice farmer. He started farming rice as a senior in high school when he produced his first crop on 27 acres. Today, he farms 1,300 acres in partnership with his cousin, Michael.
Lundberg has been a Director of the Butte County Farm Bureau for 14 years, two of which he served as President. He is the current treasurer for the Richvale Hunting Area Board and is a member of the Butte County Farm, Home, and 4-H Support Committee. He is also the past chair and current member of the California Rice Commodity Advisory Committee for the California Farm Bureau Federation. Previously, Lundberg served as a rice commodity advisor to the American Farm Bureau Federation, and was a member of the California Cooperative Rice Research board, as well as the Transportation, Health and Education Policy Recommendation Committee, and the California Farm Bureau Water Policy Committee. “I learned life-long skills and made life-long friends at Butte College, and I’m honored to have been selected as a 2011 Alumni of the Year,” said Lundberg.
A veteran firefighter of 38 years, Butte College alumnus Chief George W. Morris Jr., CAL FIRE, received his EMT I Non-Ambulance Certification and A.S. degree with Honors in Fire Sciences in 1995.
Previous to his appointment as CAL FIRE-Butte County Fire Chief, Morris served as Deputy Chief for six years. George began his firefighting career when he was 17 serving as a seasonal firefighter in Humboldt County. Morris has served in various capacities in fire services including Fire Captain, Emergency Command Center Officer, Fire Prevention Bureau Chief and Division Chief. Chief Morris also served as Incident Commander (IC) on CAL FIRE Incident Command Team 3.
“I believe Butte College is an asset to the community and it helped me get the training I needed in my career,” said Morris. “I was glad to earn my degree and meet my career goals.”
The Spring Gala includes dinner and dancing with live music by the Swing Kings. Also, silent and live auctions will be taking place throughout the evening.
Tickets for the event are $100 per person. All proceeds will benefit Butte College students through scholarships, as well as academic and athletic program support. To purchase tickets contact the Butte College Foundation at 530.895.2359.
The Butte College Foundation is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization that serves as the fundraising arm for Butte College. The Foundation, governed by a volunteer board of directors, works throughout the year to generate partnerships and resources to benefit the students of Butte College. In addition to awarding scholarships to students each semester, the Foundation also helps provide faculty grants for programs, campus projects, equipment and technology.