Water pioneer Meyers named 'Top Dog' alumnus

Marvin Meyers, Fresno State's 2012 Top Dog Distinguished AlumnusMarvin Meyers, Fresno State's 2012 Top Dog Distinguished AlumnusLongtime Valley farmer Marvin Meyers has been named Fresno State's Top Dog Distinguished Alumnus for 2012.

The award will be presented by the Fresno State Alumni Association during a Sept. 28 event at the Save Mart Center.

Meyers, a 1956 graduate of Fresno State, is a successful farmer, water conservationalist and university benefactor whose $2 million gift helped establish the 10,000 square-foot Meyers Family Sports Medicine Center, currently under construction.

The Westside almond farmer is a pioneer in water banking, self-financing his own 150-acre groundwater recharge facility at the now-shuttered Spreckels sugar plant near Mendota, which began operating in 2002.

The Meyers Water Bank and Wildlife Project has capacity to store about 35,000 acre-feet  of feet of water with plans to expand by up to 25,000 acre-feet. It also incldes a environmental education center for children which is powered by photovoltaic solar panels.

Meyers has also been active in a lot of other farm-related causes, and currently sits on the board of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

In addition to the distinguished alumnus award, each of the university's academic schools and colleges chooses its own Top Dog recipients, which this year include:

  • • James "Bo" Barrett, a winemaker, the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology
  • • Desa Belyea, a retired newspaper editor, College of Arts and Humanities.
  • • Nick Watney (Alumnus), a professional golfer, Department of Athletics.
  • • Mark Shuster (1983, 1997), financial executive, Craig School of Business.
  • • Mattie B. Meyers (1966), educator and community activist, Kremen School of Education and Human Development.
  • • John Miyamoto (1985), global communications systems engineer, Lyles College of Engineering.
  • • James Kennedy (1967, 1969), retired director of operations for the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii, Division of Graduate Studies.
  • • Marion Karian (1965), founder of Exceptional Parents Unlimited, College of Health and Human Services.
  • • G. Michael Graves (1973), a CPA and chief financial officer of a law firm, Henry Madden Library.
  • • Harold Salwasser (1969), a dean of the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, College of Science and Mathematics.
  • • Michael Villines (1990), former California Assembly member, College of Social Sciences.
  • • Philip Stephens III (1937), whose life was spent helping Fresno State students facing physical challenges, Division of Student Affairs. (Awarded posthumously.)