Robert E. Price

Honorary Degrees

​​​Robert E. Price
Robert E. Price
Entrepreneur/Community Advocate

San Diego State University

Robert Price's commitment to changing lives has transformed the San Diego community of City Heights and broken the cycle of poverty for thousands of talented young men and women.

Mr. Price and his father, Sol, the recipient of an honorary degree from San Diego State University in 2003, achieved success as pioneers of the membership warehouse club merchandising concept.

After graduating from Pomona College, Mr. Price worked with his father at FedMa​rt Corporation. They founded The Price Company and Price Club in 1976. Shortly after The Price Company merged with Costco in 1993, the Prices founded PriceSmart, a warehouse club business operating in Latin America and the Caribbean with Robert Price as chairman of the board.

SDSU has a long association with the Price Family. Mr. Price's parents attended San Diego State College in the l930s and his wife, Allison, graduated from SDSU in 1974. In the year 2000, SDSU and the Price Family Charitable Fund formed a partnership to connect the university to the community of City Heights through an agreement that includes the San Diego Unified School District and the association representing district teachers.

For the past 15 years faculty and students from SDSU have engaged in a transformative intervention in three City Heights schools-Rosa Parks Elementary, Monroe Clark Middle and Hoover High schools. Led by Robert Price and his dedicated colleagues at Price Charities and the Price Family Charitable Fund, this unprecedented public-private partnership has improved learning outcomes, social services and health care for neighborhood families while providing a dynamic laboratory for SDSU faculty and student research to reform urban education.

The partnership between SDSU and the foundations led by Robert Price currently includes the College Avenue Compact, guaranteeing admission to graduates of Hoover High School who meet prescribed scholastic standards; and the Price Community Scholars Program, providing four-year scholarships to 15 diverse SDSU students from San Diego inner-city communities who agree to mentor City Heights middle school students for a total of four years. Each Price Scholar mentors three City Heights' students from 7th through 10th grades, helping to prepare them-academically and socially-for higher education.

In recognition of his accomplishments as a visionary entrepreneur, community advocate and champion of higher education, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San Diego State University are proud to confer upon Robert Price an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.