Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees

John Mack
  • John Mack
John Mack

LA Urban League President

California State University, Los Angeles

John Mack is well-known and deeply respected for his work as an advocate for equal opportunities in education, law enforcement and economic advancement. He is often called a bridge-builder who crosses cultural, racial, gender and economic lines. For 36 years, he was the president of the Los Angeles Urban League until he retired from the organization. Under his leadership, Mr. Mack took the non-profit community organization to a position of strength, effectiveness and financial stability, with a $25 million annual budget.

He was appointed in August 2005 by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa to the Board of Police Commissioners. He is in his second term as president of the Los Angeles Police Commission and previously served as vice president. Mr. Mack began his career with the Urban League in Flint, Michigan, in 1964 and was appointed executive director in 1965. Prior to directing the Los Angeles Urban League, he served on the Urban League's National staff in Washington, D.C. He was a leader in the 1960 student civil rights movement in Atlanta, and co-founder and vice chairperson of the Committee on the Appeal for Human Rights.

He received his bachelor of science degree from North Carolina A&T State University and his master's degree is from Clark Atlanta University. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Claremont Graduate University School of Education. With a strong commitment to equal opportunity in education at all levels, Mr. Mack serves on the California Institute of Technology Board of Trustees and has served as a teaching fellow-in-residence at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Honored by many organizations over the years, Mr. Mack's life, work and values reflect those of the California State University. In 1997 the United Way honored the Los Angeles Urban League with the Agency of the Year Award, recognizing the organization's contribution to the lives of more than 100,000 people annually.

In recognition of his commitment to civil rights, civic responsibility and educational opportunity, the California State University Board of Trustees and California State University, Los Angeles are proud to confer upon John Mack the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.