The California State University awarded its first honorary degree to then-President John F. Kennedy in June 1963 at San Diego State University.
Since that time, the 23 CSU campuses have awarded honorary degrees to 436 distinguished individuals through spring 2012. These individuals have demonstrated excellence in areas that benefit humanity, CSU campuses, the state, nation or world. They serve as examples to be recognized and honored. The degrees are given by the CSU Board of Trustees in the name of the California State University or in the name of the CSU and a campus, which is the typical designation.
Nisei Diploma Project
Mindful of its mission and responsibility to the residents of the state, the California State University Board of Trustees unanimously voted at its September 23, 2009, meeting to award Special Honorary Bachelor of Humane Letters degrees to CSU students of Japanese ancestry whose college educations were disrupted due to their forced removal from the west coast and incarceration during World War II.