As California State University, San Bernardino celebrates 60 years of higher education excellence, it is launching its inaugural Alumni Hall of Fame Awards to recognize the professional accomplishments and community service of distinguished alumni.

Mary Jane McCoy, BA, history, ’67, will receive the Paw Prints Award, which recognizes alumni who have shown exemplary accomplishments that reflect the spirit of their academic college. She is being recognized for her decades of dedicated leadership, service and generosity to the educational community and beyond.

In 1967, McCoy was one of three African American students in the first graduating class of 59 students from what was then called California State College at San Bernardino.

During the past 50-plus years, she has been dedicated to working as a teacher and principal and volunteering in the communities in which she has lived. While she now resides in Spokane, Washington, McCoy remains passionately committed to organizations in San Bernardino that focus on teaching diversity, serve the needs of the homeless and the elderly, provide support services for victims of domestic violence, and mentor students in grades K-12. As a charter member of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. an international teachers’ sorority, she served as the national president of the organization’s philanthropic arm.

She served on the One Spokane Program under the leadership of then-Mayor John Powers. The program was commissioned to find ways to save energy in the Spokane area. She was also appointed by Governor Christine Gregoire to serve on a committee that advocated for community colleges in the Spokane area to receive state funds for programs supporting displaced homeless individuals. 

In 2017, McCoy established an endowed scholarship for CSUSB students to assist with financial obligations needed to complete requirements for graduation. These funds help with purchasing books, housing, tutorial assistance and tuition assistance. Each year, she also provides a number of students with backpacks that include tablets, headphones, speakers and USB chargers that are presented at the annual Pioneer Breakfast hosted by the CSUSB Black Faculty, Staff and Student Association.

The alumni awardees will be honored during a dinner and award ceremony on Feb. 16 at CSUSB’s Santos Manuel Student Union North Ballrooms. Three university-wide awards – Distinguished Alumni, Emerging Leader and Coyote Spirit – will be presented, as well as the Paw Print Awards, which honor esteemed alumni from each of the university’s five colleges.

For more information about the inaugural Hall of Fame celebration, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (909) 537-3700 or send an email to The office provides opportunities for alumni to connect with each other and their alma mater and for CSUSB graduates to mentor and support current students through volunteer opportunities.