Carol A. Cox

Honorary Degrees

Carol A. CoxCarol A. Cox

Community Leader/Activist

California State University, San Marcos

Carol A. Cox was not an elected official, a senior level administrator or business executive but she was the catalyst that resulted in the creation of what is today California State University, San Marcos.

As a 39 year old re-entry student Ms. Cox asked the simple question: why are there no four-year institutions of higher learning in North San Diego County? Not afraid of a challenge, she made it her mission to bring higher education to the region. Cox worked diligently to garner public support for a four-year university in North San Diego County. She obtained letters or proclamations from every school district board, from every Chamber of Commerce board and took her proposal to every City Council in the region. She developed a plan on how much it would take to establish an off-campus site in North County. She attracted the interest of then-Assemblyman William A. Craven and together they championed the creation of the university.

Ms. Cox negotiated nearly impossible hurdles to pursue her dream of public higher education in the region. The pursuit became a reality with the founding of California State University, San Marcos in 1989, followed by the groundbreaking in 1990. Her commitment and contribution to the university continued as she was appointed the first chair of the CSU San Marcos President's Advisory Council. She also chaired the CSU San Marcos Fundraising Committee that raised more than $250,000 for the new university.

The Carol A. Cox Scholarship Fund for Re-Entry Women was established in her name by the university, and Ms. Cox actively raised funds for this endowment that has awarded a scholarship annually since 1994.

As the university celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2010, more than 23,000 alumni now claim California State University, San Marcos as their alma mater, thanks in part to the tireless efforts of Carol A. Cox.

In recognition of her civic accomplishments as a community leader and her public service to the region, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, San Marcos are proud to confer upon Carol A. Cox the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.