Roy Perez

Roy M. Pérez to be Honored at San Jose State

Roy Perez

Roy Perez

Media contact:
Pat Lopes Harris
, 408-656-6999

SAN JOSE, Calif., — Roy M. Pérez — San José native, CSU and UC alumnus, California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce chairman, and lifelong champion of civic, economic and educational opportunity — will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the San José State University Academic Senate’s 60th Anniversary Celebration at 4 p.m. April 4 in Morris Dailey Auditorium.

“Mr. Pérez’s academic, military and professional accomplishments are exemplary and merit this very significant award,” San José State University President Mo Qayoumi said.

Roy M. Pérez

Born into a farmworker community in Madera, Calif., Pérez was raised in San José and later served in the U.S. Army. After returning from overseas, he enrolled in West Valley College, where he was elected student body president, and transferred to University of California, Santa Cruz, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and community studies. He later completed graduate work in bilingual education at CSU Sacramento while counseling at-risk youths at La Familia Counseling Center.

In the early 1980s, he moved to San Juan Bautista, where he and his wife Gloriamalia performed promotional work capturing new audiences, creating fundraising strategies and producing commemorative events for El Teatro Campesino. In the late 1980s, Pérez returned to Sacramento to serve as special assistant for Senate President Pro Tem David A. Roberti, traveling the state to inform and organize communities, provide access to the California Legislature, and build strategies to pass legislation protecting vulnerable communities.

Meanwhile, Pérez’s extended family experienced tragedy, and as a result, he and his wife became guardians to five nieces and nephews and conservator to their mother, who had suffered a brain injury. The couple, with two children of their own, opened their hearts and home, raising all seven children together for approximately five years, until the eldest niece was able to take over. For this, California First Lady Gayle Wilson and U.S. President and First Lady George and Barbara Bush named the Pérezes “Hispanic Family of the Year” in 1992.

Pérez went on to serve as a lead lobbyist for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, GTE and PacBell. He was also a founding member of the Chicano/Latino Youth Leadership Project, helping raise funds to provide leadership training to more than 100 students annually in Sacramento. In 2004, Pérez established his own firm, RMP Strategies Inc. As president and CEO, he provides advocacy and public relations services while championing as a volunteer philanthropic, procurement, employment and governance opportunities for small business owners and community leaders.

The Academic Senate

Shared governance  has been a long and valued part of San José State University. Established in 1952, the SJSU Academic Senate is comprised of faculty, student, alumni and administrative representatives who meet regularly to formulate university policy recommendations on a wide range of campuswide concerns including curriculum, instruction, faculty and student affairs, and the university’s budget and administration.

San José State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.