Paul Jennings

Honorary Degrees

California State University, Northridge

As a pioneer in deregulated telecommunications services for more than two decades, Paul Jennings is recognized as a passionate advocate for higher education, sustainability and services for individuals with learning disabilities. A highly successful entrepreneur and real estate developer, Mr. Jennings earned a bachelor of science in marketing from California State University, Northridge in 1985. He is the founding partner and chief executive officer of Public Communications Services, Inc., (PCS).

Mr. Jennings began his entrepreneurial career working his way through college by selling long-distance phone plans. He is regarded as a pioneer in the long-distance service industry that began with AT&T's break-up in 1984. He focused on delivering telecommunication services to public agencies with significant inmate populations. His company became the third largest provider of inmate telephone services in the country. He is currently a principal of PCS Energy, the largest commercial solar provider for the City of Los Angeles. Founded in 2014, the company focuses on energy solutions for multi-family apartments.

Throughout his successful career, Mr. Jennings always believed in the power of education and the need to give back. Overcoming dyslexia, Mr. Jennings made education for students with similar challenges a priority. The Jennings Family Foundation helps to fund facilities, scholarships and student activities at the Park Century School, the CSUN David Nazarian College of Business and Economics, the Westside Children's Center and the University of San Diego. The foundation also supports more than 20 organizations that help abused or neglected children and families that are experiencing homelessness.

Since his graduation more than 30 years ago, Mr. Jennings has remained actively involved with California State University, Northridge. His total giving to the university exceeds $2 million, with his most recent $1 million gift to create the Paul Jennings Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship.   Mr. Jennings and his wife, Adrienne, are President's Associates and Heritage Society members. In addition to financial support, he also donates his time to ensure that student entrepreneurs receive the same opportunities that he did. Mr. Jennings participates annually in the Professor for a Day event for Nazarian College and serves as a member of its Advisory Board. He is also a member of CSUN Foundation Board. A long-term member of the Young Presidents Organization, he served the organization in five chair positions. He has received CSUN’s Volunteer Service Award in 2014 and a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.

In recognition of his generous support of students and the university, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Northridge are proud to confer upon Paul Jennings the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.