- Richard Hunter
CEO, Hunter Enterprises
California State University, San Marcos
One of the most refreshing sounds on a warm summer evening is the whoosh of a sprinkler turning on, bringing life back to the front lawn. As president and chief executive officer of one the leading irrigation equipment companies in the world, Richard Hunter has quite a bit to do with this phenomenon. As a staunch supporter of California State University, San Marcos, he must also be credited with helping to bring North County's first university to life.
As a young man more than 40 years ago, Mr. Hunter spent his summers working alongside his father, industry pioneer Ed Hunter, at the family's Moist '0 Matic Irrigation business in Riverside, Calif. It was at this start-up sprinkler company that the younger Hunter discovered what would become a lifelong interest in product development and manufacturing. Today, he heads San Marcos-based Hunter Industries, the largest private employer here in San Marcos. Since he joined the company in 1982, it has grown to be one of the largest manufacturers of irrigation equipment for home, commercial sites, parks and golf courses.
While growing his business in North San Diego County, Mr. Hunter has also played a true leadership role in the development of Cal State San Marcos. He first became involved through his sister, Ann Hunter Welborn, a benevolent presence at the university and a champion for access to education.
With a strong understanding and appreciation for business, Mr. Hunter initially accepted a position on the College of Business Administration Advisory Board in the mid 1990s. Since then, he has provided generous support as a member of the President's Circle and Cougar Club and as current co-chair of the Trust Board. In 2003, he was instrumental in bringing to life the merit-based Presidential Scholars Program, one of the campuses newest initiatives aimed at supporting the region's most promising young students. He and Hunter Industries have also donated funds for creation of the Field House and for the establishment of athletic scholarships.
In recognition of his strong commitment to the community and the university, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, San Marcos are proud to confer upon Richard Hunter the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.