New Distinguished Alumni honored for their impact, successes

Published April 21, 2023

On a night when achievement was recognized and seven alumni were celebrated, Greg Irwin could not attend the gala. Superheroes took priority and Irwin was needed on the set of the new "Joker" movie in New York City. Instead he sent his thank yous and best regards via video, apropos for a lifetime Hollywood camera operator.

Irwin ’83 is a member of the newest Distinguished Alumni class, honored April 13 in a well-attended event at the Anna W. Ngai Alumni Center. He joined Kathleen Hansen ’82, Jill Baker ’99, Hing Hung ’85, Karen King ’01, Mario Cordero ’74 and Fred Lauzier ’71 on the list of those who have been awarded the highest honor an alumnus can receive. 

The Distinguished Alumni Award is given annually to seven alumni, each representing their academic college, who have an exemplary record of distinction and success in their chosen fields, demonstrated leadership and service to their communities as well as pride for The Beach. 

The 2023 Distinguished Alumni are:

College of the Arts – Greg Irwin, cameraman, head of camera department, freelance

College of BusinessKathleen Hansen, president, Financial Planning Dept. Inc.

College of Education – Jill Baker ‘99, superintendent, Long Beach Unified School District

College of EngineeringHing Hung ’85, co-founder, Mercury Security Corporation (retired)

College of Health & Human ServicesKaren King ’01, case manager, Molina Healthcare (retired)

College of Liberal Arts Mario Cordero ’74, executive director, Port of Long Beach

College of Natural Sciences & MathematicsFred Lauzier ’71, director of pathology, USC Keck School of Medicine (retired)

Alum Karen King chats
As a teen, Karen King '01 found her passion for being a nurse after tending to her four siblings.


Karen Baker standing near flower
Jill Baker '99 graduated from The Beach with her master's and administrative credential, preparing her for her job as a school superintendent. 
Fred Lauzier
Fred Lauzier '71 left his footprint with more than two dozen independent clinical laboratories in Southern California.


Mario Cordero
A first-gen student, Mario Cordero '74 found affordable education and a strong political science program at The Beach.
Hing Hung and wife
Hing W. Hung '80 reached his educational potential at The Beach and became the co-owner of a technical manufacturing company.
Kathleen Hansen
Kathleen Hansen '75 is actively involved in several organizations and is a mentor to students in the College of Business.