Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees

Donald Lucas
  • Donald Lucas
Donald Lucas

Businessman/Philanthropist

San José State University

A 1959 business graduate of San José State University, Donald Lucas co-founded the Lucas Dealership Group, one of the first multiple franchise automobile companies in the country. From 1964 to 2000, he owned more than 40 dealerships and became one of the top 25 car companies in the country. Currently the head of Lucas Trust Ventures, Mr. Lucas is well known for his philanthropy, primarily focused on the arts and programs for disadvantaged children. His commitment to San José State University and the extended community exemplifies the ideals of the California State University.

While still a student at San José State University, Mr. Lucas opened his first used car lot on San Carlos Street, just seven blocks from campus, and he has remained a tireless supporter to the university to this day. Mr. Lucas has played a leadership role in the Spartan Foundation and the Alumni Association, and is currently a member of the Tower Foundation Board of Directors. He is a shining example of what the California State University offers to those who are willing to work hard, who value education and ultimately give back generously to future generations. In 2006, he and his wife, Sally, made the largest private individual gift in San José State's 150-year history. The $10 million gift created the Donald and Sally Lucas Graduate School of Business. It raised the bar for giving to San José State University and inspired a higher caliber of ongoing philanthropy.

His charitable involvement includes the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Montalvo Center for the Arts, the Children's Discovery Museum, the Silicon Valley Arts Council, the Boy Scouts and the Contemporary Art Museum in Honolulu, among others.

In recognition of his dedication to education for all, his leadership, his entrepreneurship and his hard work, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San José State University are proud to confer upon Donald Lucas the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.