Campus: CSU Fullerton -- April 23, 2004
Acclaimed Novelist to Receive Honorary Doctorate at Cal State
Fullerton's 45th Annual Commencement
Award-winning mystery novelist Elizabeth George returns to her alma
mater to receive an honorary doctorate during Cal State Fullerton’s
45th annual commencement ceremonies May 29-30.
George, who graduated from CSUF with a master’s degree in counseling
in 1979, is one of two alumni delivering keynote addresses during the
weekend celebration. She will be recognized during the Sunday, May 30,
ceremony for her success as an educator and novelist, and also for her
philanthropic work. Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, who earned a bachelor’s
degree in engineering in 1980, will address candidates for graduation
and their families during the Saturday, May 29, commencement exercise.
“With two dynamic CSUF graduates addressing our commencement ceremonies,
our students will be getting a glimpse of their own futures, as individuals
who will play a key role in society,” said Cal State Fullerton
President Milton A. Gordon. “We are particularly proud to have
the honor of presenting an honorary doctorate to one of our own.”
The honorary doctorate, awarded jointly by the campus and the California
State University, is conferred in recognition of excellence and extraordinary
achievement in significant areas of human endeavors. George, who received
the university’s Distinguished Alumna Award in 1995, is only the
second Cal State Fullerton graduate selected for an honorary doctorate.
Last year, an honorary doctorate was awarded to international businessman
and 1965 alumnus Gareth C.C. Chang.
George was born Susan Elizabeth George in Ohio and grew up in the town
of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned her undergraduate
degree in English at UC Riverside and embarked on a teaching career
— first at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, then at El Toro
High School, where she was honored in 1980 with the California Teachers
Association WHO Award for Teaching. A year later, she was named Saddleback
Valley Teacher of the Year and Orange County Teacher of the Year.
The Huntington Beach resident’s first novel, “A Great Deliverance,”
won both the 1989 Anthony and 1989 Agatha awards for first best novel,
as well as France’s Le Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere in
1990. Since then, George has kept her fans and the publishing world
on the edge of their seats with her series of best-selling psychological
George’s books have continued to win her accolades, including
Germany’s MIMI for “Well-Schooled in Murder.” Several
of her novels have been adapted for television by the BBC – four
aired last fall by PBS under the title “The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.”
The author, whose most recent book, “Write Away,” was published
in March by Harper Collins, is also known for her philanthropic efforts
through the Elizabeth George Foundation, which has provided support
to such organizations as St. Joseph Hospital, Medicine for Humanities,
Friends for Humanity and SKIP Health Foundation for Disadvantaged Children.
She continues to indulge in her love of teaching at the annual Maui
Writers retreat and meets weekly with a group of unpublished writers
in her home when she is in California.
Miguel Pulido, who earlier this month was named to the board of the
California State Teachers Retirement System by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger,
has served as mayor of Santa Ana since 1994. He has been a member of
the Santa Ana City Council since 1986.
During his mayoral tenure, Pulido formed the Mayor’s Task Force
on Arts and Culture, which led to the development of the Artists Village,
a section of downtown Santa Ana that includes theaters, galleries, performance
venues and Cal State Fullerton’s Grand Central Art Center. In
1999, he spearheaded the Orange County International Trade Center Advisory
Council’s efforts to bring together various partners to develop
a strategy for assisting local businesses with international trade.
Three years ago, Pulido negotiated with Mexico’s President Vicente
Fox to open that country’s first trade center in the United States.
He also was appointed by Fox to serve on the Federal Inter-Governmental
Policy Advisory Committee on Trade.
Pulido, who was honored by his alma mater in 1998 as a Distinguished
Alumnus, is a member of the Bowers Museum Board of Directors and represents
the city on the Orange County Transportation Authority, a position he
has held since 1997. Other leadership positions include service on the
board of the Community Commerce Bank, Caltrans Management Information
System Advisory Committee, Pacific Symphony, Discovery Science Center
and the UCI Foundation.
Cal State Fullerton kicks off commencement festivities with two universitywide
ceremonies at 8 a.m. May 29 and 30 on the athletics fields north of
Titan Gym. College and department celebrations will follow at various
locations throughout campus. An honors convocation to recognize student
achievements is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, May 28, in the Titan Student
Union’s Portola Pavilion.
Media Contacts: Mary Jo Medyn of Academic Affairs
at (714) 278-2615, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pam McLaren of Public Affairs at (714) 278-4852, email@example.com