- Roy Disney
Film Industry Leader/World Sailor
California State University Maritime Academy
Roy E. Disney, nephew of Walt Disney, has had a distinguished career in the American film industry as an employee and senior executive of the company founded by his father and uncle. He is now a consultant and Director Emeritus of the Board.
During his long career, Mr. Disney has made significant contributions to American media as a writer, director, editor, producer and executive producer. Among the many recent family-oriented productions in which he has played an important role are: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, The Lion King, Pocahontas, and Fantasia 2000.
He has been an active community volunteer, including current service as a Trustee of the California Institute of the Arts. Mr. Disney is internationally known for his involvement in the world sailing community and has held several sailing speed records including the Chicago-to-Mackinac, Newport-Bermuda and the Los Angeles to-Hawaii Transpac (a transit of just under seven-and-a-half days set in 1999.)
He has been an active and personally involved supporter of youth sailing on the West Coast, annually sponsoring the Roy E. Disney trophy presented to the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association high school team earning the most Disney Cup trophy points for the season.
Mr. Disney’s love of sailing and promotion of the sport were recently evidenced in his underwriting of the Morning Light project – the recruitment, training and campaigning of one of the youngest crews ever to enter the Transpac race. Nearly 500 top youth sailors nationwide applied for selection. The final selected crew of 11 includes Cal Maritime Cadet Piet vanOs. The entire process of recruitment, training and competition was documented by Disney cinematographers. The resulting film, Morning Light, will be screened in theaters worldwide in fall 2008, providing a major boost to expanded youth interest in sailing, and new visibility, recognition of, and interest in The California State University Maritime Academy worldwide.
In recognition of his professional and civic accomplishments and his dedication to youth sailing, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and the California Maritime Academy are proud to confer upon Roy E. Disney the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.