Robert “Bob” McElroy

Honorary Degrees

California State University San Marcos​​

Robert “Bob" McElroy is the founder and president of Alpha Project, an organization with more than three decades of service to people in need. From its humble origins as an agency with a small office, a used truck and the novel idea of employing the homeless, Alpha Project has remained true to Mr. McElroy's original mission of empowering individuals, families and communities by providing work, recovery and support services to people who are motivated to change their lives.

From an early background in urban ministry, Mr. McElroy developed a lasting passion for providing skills, training and opportunity to people experiencing homelessness. Through Alpha Project, he has demonstrated that with the right expectations and interventions, homeless people can become community assets rather than liabilities. Mr. McElroy has grown Alpha Project into an organization that offers more than two dozen programs with 250 employees who serve more than 4,000 men, women and children each day. The organization's programs include emergency shelter, rapid rehousing, substance abuse treatment, supportive employment, transportation and additional services for people experiencing homelessness and living in poverty. In addition, Alpha Project has created and sustained more than 900 units of permanent affordable housing across California, from San Diego to Oakland.

Mr. McElroy has earned numerous awards for his work, including selection by President George H. W. Bush as the country's 185th Point of Light. He received proclamations from the California State Assembly, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and the San Diego City Council for his contributions to the community. He received the Ecumenical Tribute Award from the San Diego Ecumenical Council, the San Diego Mediation Center's Peacemaker of the Year Award, the San Diego Press Club's Headliner of the Year Award for community enhancement, the Champion of Children Award from Children's Hospital, the United Way's Zannville Helping Hand Award and the Vic Kops Humanitarian Award. He was recognized as one of San Diego Magazine's “50 People to Watch." San Diego's Channel 10 presented him with a Leadership Award for Outstanding Non-Profit, and Alpha Project's affordable housing developments have received a Best Practices Award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In recognition of his professional and civic accomplishments as a business and community leader, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University San Marcos are proud to confer upon Robert “Bob" McElroy the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.