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Cal Poly Proud Stories

Meet the alumni who represent the best of Cal Poly and Learn by Doing, whether that’s by making a difference through volunteer work, their professions or in their communities. Do you have a story to tell? Let us know!

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On Top of the World

In 2012, Bob Berger (Journalism ‘81) summited Mt. Everest, something only a handful of people can say. He insisted that accomplishing something like this is a mindset he credits his time at Cal Poly with helping him forge.

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Bob Berger with guide on Mt. Everest

Among The Vines

Eric Johnson (Agricultural Business, '07) grew up in a family full of Cal Poly alumni and always dreamt of continuing that tradition. Today, Johnson is celebrating a recent promotion to the position of director of viticulture and winemaking at Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande, where he began interning at in 2007 during his senior year.

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Eric Johnson working in the barrel room of winery

A Fifty-Year Friendship That Began at Cal Poly

Rich Murray (Electronic Engineering, ‘79) and Kirk Branner (Computer Science, ‘79) were lucky enough to meet during their first days on campus in the fall of 1975 and have been close friends ever since.

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Rich Murray and Kirk Branner smiling for the camera.

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Alumna Hunter Wortmann posin with whales.

A Passion for Marine Life

Hunter Wortmann (Marine Sciences, ‘20) has been working as a Killer Whale Trainer and Senior Behaviorist at SeaWorld San Diego for 2.5 years. She hopes to inspire the young to care more about the world around us as well as all the amazing species that inhabit our earth.

Congratulations, Hunter!

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Alumni Marissa Greenband and Joseph Bashore posing in their wedding photos

It All Started With Free Tickets

Marissa Greenband (Kinesiology, '17) and Joseph Bashore (Environmental Mgmt & Protection, '16) got married in San Luis Obispo in June 2023. They met over free tickets to a SLO Blue’s Baseball game in the summer of 2014.

Congratulations, Marissa and Joseph!

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Alumni Michael Willis ringing the Nasdaq bell

From Day Trader to Wall Street

Michael Willis (Business Administration '90, MA Business Administration '91) started day trading as a master's student at Cal Poly, trading from 6 a.m. until noon and scheduling his classes around it.

Willis went on to found ONEFUND, a Wall Street FinTech Company. ONEFUND went public on Friday, January 5, when Willis rang the closing bell. Willis credits San Luis Obispo and the “Learn by Doing” philosophy that Cal Poly offers for his success.

Congratulations, Michael!

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