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Honorary Degrees

​The California State University awarded its first honorary degree to then-President John F. Kennedy in June 1963, at San Diego State University.

Since that time, CSU campuses have awarded honorary degrees to 502 distinguished individuals through spring 2015. These recipients have demonstrated excellence in areas that benefit CSU campuses; the state, nation and/or world; and/or humanity.

These men and women serve as examples to be recognized and honored for their exemplary contributions. The degrees are given by the CSU Board of Trustees in the name of the California State University and in the name of the campus.


Nisei Diploma Project

​​Mindful of its mission and responsibility to the residents of the state, the California State University Board of Trustees unanimously voted at its September 23, 2009, meeting to award Special Honorary Bachelor of Humane Letters degrees to CSU students of Japanese ancestry whose college education was disrupted during World War II by their forced removal and incarceration.