- Jose Yenque
California State University, San Marcos
Jose Yenque is a perfect embodiment of what the California State University honorary degree aims to recognize and celebrate. He is an esteemed member of his chosen profession as well as a humanitarian who has impacted the lives of at-risk youth on a global scale. Introduced to acting very early in life, Jose Yenque has more than three decades of experience working successfully in theatre, film and television. Among his professional awards are the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Alma Awards as well as the Imagen Award, honoring positive portrayals of Latinos in entertainment.
While building a stellar acting career, Mr. Yenque has also worked to improve the conditions of others throughout the world. The son of Peruvian immigrants, Mr. Yenque returned to Peru to work with students at a low-income cultural center to promote personal development through artistic expression. He is the co-founder of the East Los Angeles Society of Film & Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing arts education and empowerment to at-risk youth.
Mr. Yenque has also been a steadfast friend of the university. He has led by example through his pro-bono involvement in the "Hands Across Our Border" initiative at California State University, San Marcos, and helped inspire hundreds of university students from both CSUSM and the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California to forge bonds of international collaboration and friendship through side-by-side service at an impoverished orphanage in Tijuana. For his efforts, he was awarded the Sol Azteca Award, and in 2010 he received the coveted HOLA ILKA award for humanitarianism.
He has worked with professors to enhance student experiences with lectures on such topics as acting, adapting narrative to film, Latino theatre and performance techniques for future teachers. In 2009 he helped create an intense study abroad summer program that provided a group of mainly first-generation college students with the chance to study Spanish drama and acting in Almagro, Spain.
In 2008, Mr. Yenque worked with CSUSM faculty to co-produce and narrate a gang-prevention video, Never Too Early, Never Too Late. Free Spanish and English versions were distributed to families, law enforcement and social service organizations nationwide.
In recognition of his distinguished achievements in the areas of humanitarianism and the arts, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, San Marcos are proud to confer upon Jose Yenque the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.