The Fresno State College of Arts and Humanities congratulates Charles Sant’Agata for being named the college’s Outstanding Alumnus. He will be honored during the Fresno State Top Dog Alumni Awards on Sept. 20 at the Save Mart Center.
Charles is a Fresno native with Italian roots who, in 1957, became the first in his family to graduate from college.
Charles’ undergraduate career began in 1953 at Fresno State’s original campus where he performed in the school’s last and the new campuses’ first theater productions. As a student, Charles left his mark on the campus, helping plan the first Peach Blossom Festival and leading the Speech Arts Guild and Western Speech Association.
After graduation, Charles joined the 144th Fighter Group of the California Air National Guard as its Information Specialist for six years. After leaving the military, Charles went on to have a successful career in Public Relations, serving as Public Relations Director for Community Health Systems in Fresno for 13 years, opening his own firm, Charles Sant’Agata Public Relations, in 1983, and serving as President and CEO of the American Lung Association of Central California for eight years. He was also President of several local, state and national public relations professional organizations, and was the Founding President of the Central California Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
Even as an alumnus, Charles’ fingerprints have continued to mold Fresno State. From 1971 to 1973, he served as Board President of the Fresno State Alumni Association. He has also returned to campus as a guest lecturer in Public Relations and continues to serve on the Peach Blossom Festival Committee. Throughout the years, Charles has also played an active role in fundraising for renovations to the Fresno State Sigma Chi Fraternity Chapter House.
“You can’t quit. You’ve got to find something you enjoy and do that.”