Source: NBCLA (Video)
In LA County there are several big name and world-class universities but there’s only one university that can boast about graduating five sitting LA County mayors.
“This school produces a lot of, you know, greatness,” said Johnathan Kaufman, a Cal State University of Dominguez Hills student.
From Dominguez Hills to city hall only Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson can brag about graduating five siting LA County mayors.
They are Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, Compton Mayor Emma Sharif, Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes, Hawthorne Mayor Alex Vargas, and LA’s newest Mayor Karen Bass.
“She grew up in our community, she grew up like we did, she went to school where we did and she understands how life here is,” said Natalie Ruiz, a CSUDH student.
Ruiz is studying political science at Dominguez Hills.
Following the 1965 Watts Rebellion, this campus was strategically placed in Carson to bring more educational opportunities to underserved communities in South LA.
Nearly 60 years later, five graduates are now leading nearby cities.
“I think it just speaks to the testament of who she is and how she can only break doors open for more of us,” Ruiz said.
Dr. Thomas Parham is the 11th President of Cal State Dominguez Hills, he says the school has a legacy of teaching students how to serve their communities.
Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson was once student body president.
“Some might argue it happens by, you know, happenstance, but really it doesn’t,” Parham said. “I think you can’t love the people unless you’re willing to serve the people and what we have are people who come with the mentality of being servant leaders.”
Student Christopher Hendrix says it also makes him proud to know you don’t need to the big name school to make big time moves.
“It makes me feel empowered. You know, it goes back to the idea that I don’t need to go to Harvard or an Ivy League,” Hendrix said. “I can get the same education, the same understanding of what needs to be done in my communities, in my community. I don’t have to go and then come back. I can stay here and help it grow.”