Alumni to be honored for exceptional achievements at annual Distinguished Alumni Awards

medal reading "Distinguished Alumni Award"

The Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 3, 2024.

The Pacific Alumni Association has chosen five 2024 Distinguished Alumni Awards recipients for their exceptional professional achievements and dedication to University of the Pacific.

The honorees are: Ralph Clark ’80, ‘81, Natalie Compton ’12, Alan Cook ’77, Richard Fleming ’69 and The Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson ’79.

“These five alumni represent what it means to be a Pacifican,” said Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Scott Biedermann ’05, ’20. “They are excelling at the highest levels in their fields while also generously supporting Pacific and its students, creating a lasting impact. We are proud to honor their incredible accomplishments.”

The awards ceremony is Feb. 3, 2024, on the Stockton Campus.

Richard Fleming

Richard Fleming

Richard Fleming

Medallion of Excellence, honoring alumni who are faculty, staff or regents and have exhibited exceptional service to the university, their profession and the community

Former Regent Fleming has impacted generations of students through his service to Pacific and generous donations, including establishing the Fleming Family Endowment.

The fund supports the Fleming Family Endowed Promise Scholarship, which provides assistance to former foster youth and temporarily homeless students, and the Fleming Endowed Scholarship, which supports any student with unmet financial need.

He also has supported numerous other initiatives, including the Pacific Regents Covid Recovery Fund and Pacific Fund. In 2022, he inspired others to give by quadrupling donations made to the Regents Endowed Scholarship Fund during Pacific Gives, an annual 24-hour fundraising campaign. 

Fleming served as a regent from 2012 to 2021 and was chair of the investment committee. He also has served on the Eberhardt School of Business campaign committee and was a member of the business school’s advisory board.

Prior to his retirement in 2012, Fleming was vice president and chief financial officer of USG Corporations, a manufacturer of construction materials, for nearly 20 years.

He has served on numerous boards to benefit the community, including UCAN, an Illinois youth services agency and the Child Welfare League of America.

He lives in Chicago with his wife of more than 50 years Diana (Loane) Fleming ’71. The couple met on the Stockton Campus and were married in Morris Chapel.

Ralph Clark

Ralph Clark

Ralph Clark

Distinguished Professional Service, honoring alumni who have achieved notable career success

Clark is president and CEO of SoundThinking, formerly known as ShotSpotter, a public safety technology company. The company is most widely known for its gunshot detection system, which can recognize and locate sources of outdoor gunshot activity.

The technology is used by more than 150 cities around the country to help police respond more quickly to gunfire. Clark has led the company since 2010.

He previously was CEO of GuardianEdge Technologies Inc. where he played an integral role in its acquisition by Symantec. Early in his career he worked for IBM and Goldman Sachs.

Clark received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Northern California region in 2019 and was named Most Admired CEO by the San Francisco Business Times.

Clark is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and earned bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and economics from Pacific, as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School.

The Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson

The Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson

The Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson

Distinguished Public Service, honoring alumni who have made exceptional professional contributions to society through civic or public service

A graduate of the McGeorge School of Law, Rawlinson is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Las Vegas, Nevada.

She has served as a federal judge for more than two decades after being nominated to the court in 2000 by President Bill Clinton. Rawlinson is the first African American woman to sit on the Ninth Circuit.

She also is a former United States District Judge. Rawlinson was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in 1998, becoming the first woman and first person of color to serve on the federal district court.

Prior to her time as a judge, Rawlinson served as deputy district attorney and chief deputy in the office of the Clark County District Attorney.

Alan Cook

Alan Cook

Alan Cook

Distinguished Volunteer Service, honoring alumni who have made exceptional contributions to society through volunteering

For more than four decades, Cook has demonstrated what it means to be a Pacifican through his tireless efforts to support his alma mater and help youth and those in need in Stockton.

In 2018, Cook and his wife, alumna Jane Dyer Cook ’75, made a generous donation to the William Knox Holt Memorial Library and Learning Center at Pacific to create the Cook Family Children’s Literature Collection. They have also endowed a student scholarship called the Alan B. and Jane Dyer Cook Endowed Scholarship.

He has been an active member of the Pacific Alumni Association Board of Directors and was a member of the executive committee for Beyond our Gates, a community outreach initiative at Pacific for more than 10 years to improve childhood literacy.

Cook was principal of St. George Parish School in Stockton before pursuing a career change and attending divinity school. He worked at Central United Methodist Church, located across the street from Pacific’s Stockton Campus, for 15 years as director of Family Ministries before retiring in 2021. The church has shared a rich history with Pacific and continues to support students through a scholarship program.

Cook earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Pacific and two credentials.

Natalie Compton

Natalie Compton

Natalie Compton

Outstanding Young Alumni, honoring alumni of distinction who attended Pacific in the last 15 years

Compton’s determination and talent have taken her from a student writer for The Pacifican to one of the country’s most widely read newspapers—The Washington Post.

She joined the staff in 2019 as a writer for its travel site “By the Way,” where she shares travel tips and writes about her experiences traveling the world.

The highly coveted position is a result of her hard work and perseverance as a freelance travel writer. Spurred by her passions for food, travel and culture, Compton began working as a freelance writer in 2014, eventually traveling to all seven continents. She initially wrote for small publications, but quickly worked her way up to major outlets across the country, including GQ, VICE, the Los Angeles Times and Food & Wine.

Compton earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Pacific.