eNews Edition: Fall 2018
The Oviatt Library extends heartfelt gratitude to Milt and Debbie Valera. As active volunteers and donors in the CSUN community, the couple established the Milt and Debbie Valera First Amendment Rights Endowment providing the Oviatt Library funding for materials and media for the truthful communication to University students and faculty of the meaning and significance of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and how the amendment allows Americans the opportunity to enjoy their right to the freedom of speech.
The Valeras are well-known, respected supporters in the CSUN community. They serve on the CSUN President's Associates Executive Council, the Heritage Society, and were 2018 Gold Sponsors of the CSUN Distinguished Alumni Awards. Milt is a 1968 graduate of CSUN (San Fernando Valley State College), where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism. Debbie received Bachelor of Arts Degrees in English and Journalism from Syracuse University in 1972. Milt is a member of the CSUN Foundation, the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics Advisory Board, was president of the Journalism Alumni Association, and was the founding chair of the President's Associates and the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication Dean's Circle Advisory Board. He has also served on the Alumni Association Board and the Valley Performing Arts (now The Soraya) Steering Committee. As one of CSUN’s most loyal and supportive volunteer leaders, Milt received the University's prestigious Dorothea “Granny” Heitz Award for Outstanding Volunteer Leadership in 2011. Debbie, who has served on several boards, has been involved on numerous committees at CSUN, including the Outstanding Graduating Senior Selection Committee.
Milt Valera has led the National Notary Association (NNA) since 1982 when he became President and CEO of what is today the largest and most respected organization serving notaries in the United States with 230,000 members. In his more than four decades at the NNA, Valera has overseen all of the Association’s major programs that now define the arena of notary education and support services. The Association has become an internationally recognized organization serving America's 4.4 million notaries, and continues to be an important resource to government, business, legal, educational and international communities. Among his greatest achievements is the creation of two influential landmark sets of standards for notaries: The Model Notary Act of 1984, 2002 and 2010, and their predecessor, The Uniform Notary Act of 1973, and The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility. Valera was also the founding Editor and Publisher of the Association’s two flagship member publications – The National Notary magazine and the Notary Bulletin newsletter. In his current role as Chairman, Valera focuses on long-term strategies and governance issues for the Association and all of its service entities. He also serves as President of the NNA’s philanthropic arm, the National Notary Foundation. Before his career with the NNA, Valera worked as a newspaper editor, as well as in marketing and public relations.
The acquired materials and media through the Milt and Debbie Valera First Amendment Rights Endowment are available for educational events coordinated by the Oviatt Library, for University faculty to incorporate in course curriculum, and for student use.
We at the Oviatt Library are tremendously thankful to receive this distinctive endowment to support educational resources on the fundamental right to freedom of speech through this generous contribution from Milt and Debbie Valera.
Photo by Lee K. Choo. From left: Milt Valera, CSUN President Dianne Harrison, and Debbie Valera