Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees

James W. Boswell
  • James W. Boswell
James W. Boswell

Agricultural Leader/Businessman

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) alumnus James W. Boswell is highly regarded for his leadership in the agricultural industry and commitment to the advancement of agricultural education.

Mr. Boswell earned his bachelor's degree from Cal Poly in business administration in 1977. He honed his skills at Cal Poly in preparation for taking the helm of the J. G. Boswell Company and leading the organization into this new century.

Mr. Boswell is now chairman and CEO of J. G. Boswell Company, headquartered in Pasadena, California. Founded in 1925, J.G. Boswell Company encompasses two core businesses: one in agriculture and one in real estate development. The company produces, processes and markets crops including Pima cotton, tomatoes, wheat, alfalfa and seed crops, and develops innovative practices in plant biotechnology and livestock operations. The company owns and operates farms in California's San Joaquin Valley and New South Wales, Australia. The real estate arm of the company develops and markets master planned communities and business parks in the western United States. Applying his knowledge in most areas of the organization, Mr. Boswell has more than 40 years with the company that was created by his great uncle and expanded under his father's leadership. Today the company has more than 2,000 employees and has secured its reputation as a visionary in the agricultural industry.

Mr. Boswell also serves as president of the James G. Boswell Foundation. A notable supporter of agricultural education, the foundation recently awarded a $5 million grant to the endowment campaign for the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. In providing key resources, Mr. Boswell continues the tradition established by his father in 1970 when he cofounded the program that has nurtured more than 1,200 graduates.

Mr. Boswell strengthens his connections with Cal Poly as he continues in his career. As a supporter of Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Mr. Boswell and the James G. Boswell Foundation have helped establish an endowed chair in the horticulture and crop sciences department, invested in the Agribusiness Management Club and contributed to the college's Learn by Doing Fund for Agricultural Education. Mr. Boswell served on the Cal Poly President's Cabinet from 2008 to 2011, providing real-world views into the industry and investment insight to help Cal Poly continue to educate resourceful leaders in California agriculture.

In recognition of his accomplishments as an agricultural leader and supporter of agriculture education, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo are proud to confer upon James W. Boswell the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.