Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees

Ronald R. Simons
  • Ronald R. Simons
Ronald R. Simons

Dedicated CPP Administrator

Cal Poly Pomona

Among the purposes of honorary doctorates is "to honor meritorious and outstanding service to the California State University, collectively, or to its campuses, individually; to the State of California; to the United States; or to humanity at large." With that in mind, it is hard to imagine anyone with a greater legacy of service and achievement at Cal Poly Pomona than Ronald R. Simons.

Simply put, Mr. Simons has been dedicated to Cal Poly Pomona from the day he walked onto campus in the fall of 1959. He received two bachelor's degrees from the College of Agriculture (1964 and 1969), leading to a career of university service that has spanned six decades. Along the way, he studied or worked under every president in campus history.

The Cal Poly (Pomona and San Luis Obispo) partnership with the Tournament of Roses has advanced due to his ongoing commitment and support. For students at both campuses, he has been the ideal adviser, providing close mentorship while also giving students the leeway they need to assume full responsibility. In fact, a strong case can be made that the Cal Poly Rose Float program would not exist today without his tireless stewardship.

In 1996, Mr. Simons was given a unique recognition by the Cal Poly Pomona Alumni Association. Looking to create a one-of-a-kind accolade, this organization honored him with the Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award. It is the only time that this award has ever or will ever be given—an honor to reflect his overall contribution in building the organization from the ground up.

Mr. Simons was among the inaugural campus leaders in the development of the university's fundraising arm. His later work led to the funding of new venues for the campus, including the Aratani Japanese Garden and Voorhis Park. On his watch, the Founders' Celebration events raised in excess of $1.5 million in scholarships. Throughout his career, he has come to personally know almost every faculty and staff member. His nickname might best describe his impact and contributions to his alma mater: "Mr. Cal Poly Pomona."

In recognition of these and many other achievements, the California State University Board of Trustees and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona are proud to confer upon Ronald R. Simons the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.