Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees

George M. Marcus
  • George M. Marcus
George M. Marcus

Entrepreneur/Philanthropist

San Francisco State University

An entrepreneur, business leader and philanthropist, San Francisco State University alumnus George M. Marcus can be seen as the promise of the California State University fulfilled. Like many CSU students, he is an immigrant, a native of Greece who emigrated with his family as a child. He grew up in a working class neighborhood of San Francisco with hard-working parents who had little formal education—or English.

But he knew that educational opportunity was at hand, and he seized it, enrolling at SF State. A top student, he took just two and a half years to earn a bachelor's degree in economics. His path to entrepreneurial success was equally rapid. Four years after graduation, he started the commercial real estate brokerage, investment and development firm that would become Marcus & Millichap. It now has offices in 39 states.

As striking as his business success has been his lifelong commitment to public service. Mr. Marcus has distinguished himself in philanthropy, donating generously to such Bay Area organizations as the deYoung Museum, health and human services nonprofits, medical research centers, Greek community groups and San Francisco State University.

A strong supporter of public higher education, Mr. Marcus has served on the leadership bodies of both the California State University and the University of California. He was a member of the CSU Board of Trustees from 1981-89 and currently serves on the CSU Foundation's Board of Governors. He was appointed to the UC Board of Regents in 2000 for a 12-year term.

He has maintained his ties to SF State, serving as member and chair of the Modern Greek Studies Foundation, and supporting the Center for Modern Greek Studies, the Cinema Department and student scholarships. Five years ago, he and his wife, Judy, made a $3 million gift to establish SF State's International Center for the Arts. In 1989, the university chose him as Alumnus of the Year, and at SF State's Centennial Celebration in 1999, he was honored as an Alumnus of the Millennium.

Mr. Marcus's professional career and generous philanthropy are a testament to the opportunity offered through public higher education—and the impact of such opportunity for the greater society.

In recognition of his life of achievement and service, the California State University and San Francisco State University are proud to confer upon George M. Marcus the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters.