Lawrence M. Gates

Honorary Degrees

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

The transformation of the former March Air Force Base in Riverside into distribution facilities for Amazon and UPS. The construction of shopping centers in Chino Hills, Tustin and Burbank. The building of redevelopment projects designed to provide a place for Southern California residents to live and play.  

These are the types of projects Lawrence “Larry” Gates has contributed to as founder and president of DRC Engineering, Inc., an Anaheim Hills-based consulting, engineering and land-surveying firm. Mr. Gates, who graduated from California State Polytechnic, Pomona in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, founded the firm with fellow alumnus Warren Williams Jr. in 1997.  

Mr. Gates credits his time in college with helping him to find career success.  “My confidence in the workplace came from the superior and practical education I received at Cal Poly Pomona,” he said. “I always felt better-prepared and more knowledgeable than other engineers with degrees from competing universities throughout the country.” 

Since DRC was formed, the company has employed many graduates of the university’s civil engineering department and supports current students by offering summer internships.  

Mr. Gates has shown an unparalleled dedication to Cal Poly Pomona. He serves as the president of the Cal Poly Pomona Philanthropic Foundation Board and is a long-time member of the College of Engineering’s Dean’s Leadership Board. He and his wife, Amy, have contributed more than $1 million to a variety of university-wide and college-based programs – such as upgrading laboratories, supporting student competitions and funding the endowment of three scholarships, one in honor of his late father, James Gates.  

In 2014, Mr. Gates was inducted into the inaugural class of the university’s Engineering Hall of Fame. The avid world traveler, mountaineer, skier and mountain biker also serves on the board of the Bourke Family Foundation, a charitable organization that provides lights for impoverished schools in Africa. He also is a member of the Orange County Gold Chapter of the Young President’s Organization.  

For his contributions to redevelopment, his dedication to Cal Poly Pomona and his commitment to service, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona are proud to confer upon Larry Gates the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.