Long Beach,
08:11 PM

Long Beach State Alumnus, Noted Filmmaker Steven Spielberg Inducted into California Hall of Fame


Oscar-winning director, who received his diploma in 2002, gives a shout-out to his alma mater during acceptance speech.


Contact: Kathie.Bozanich@csulb.edu 



SACRAMENTO (Dec. 7, 2017) – Noted film director Steven Spielberg, who received his diploma from Long Beach State in 2002 (33 years after dropping out to pursue his career), picked up his latest honor as he was inducted into the California Hall of Fame on Tuesday in Sacramento.

A recipient of numerous awards throughout his career recognizing cinematic achievements and humanitarian efforts, Spielberg said he felt “excited and honored” to be included in the state Hall of Fame’s 11th class. “For me to receive this honor, I really truly now, and for the first time tonight, do feel – thanks to all of you – like a native Californian.”

In addition to his speech, he shared the story of passion for movies with dignitaries, fans and news media who came to see him at the event.

“I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker,” Spielberg said. “When I was 12 years old, I joined the Boy Scouts and I made a little 8-millimeter movie for a merit badge in photography. And when I made that little three-minute movie … I wanted to do that for the rest of my life. It went from a hobby to eventually a career. That next film I’m going to make is more important than reflecting on my past accomplishments.”

The 49er alumnus took time during his acceptance speech to also “give a shout-out” to Long Beach State, where he first enrolled in 1965, but left just a few units short of obtaining his degree. At the time of his graduation, he said in a statement, "I wanted to accomplish this for many years as a thank you to my parents for giving me the opportunity for an education and a career. And as a personal note for my own family – and young people everywhere – about the importance of achieving their college education goals.”

In addition to Spielberg, the 11th California Hall of Fame class includes:

– Comedian Lucille Ball

– Bioscientist Susan Desmond-Hellman

– Artist and activist Mabel McKay

– Atmospheric chemist Mario Molina

– Former NFL quarterback Jim Plunkett

– Poet Gary Snyder

– Musician Michael Tilson Thomas

– Winemaker Warren Winiarski

California Hall of Fame inductees are selected by the governor and first lady for achievements and contributions in such areas as science, philanthropy, sports, business, entertainment, the arts, literature, technology, activism and politics. Spielberg, fellow inductees and family members of posthumous inductees were presented with “Spirit of California” medals by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. and First Lady Anne Gust. This class joins 104 previous honorees. In addition to the ceremony, inductees are being commemorated with an exhibition of artifacts highlighting their lives and achievements.


About the university:

California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is a teaching-intensive, research-driven university committed to providing highly valued undergraduate and graduate degrees critical for success in the globally minded 21st century. Annually ranked among the best universities in the West and among the best values in the entire nation, the university’s eight colleges serve more than 37,500 students. CSULB values and is recognized for rich educational opportunities provided by excellent faculty and staff, exceptional degree programs, diversity of its student body, fiduciary and administrative responsibility and the positive contributions faculty, staff, students and more than 300,000 alumni make on society.


For more information on the California Hall of Fame, visit http://www.CaliforniaMuseum.org/california-hall-fame.