Mildred Howard

Honorary Degrees

California State University, East Bay

Mildred Howard has been an exceptional artist, educator and community leader whose distinguished contributions have enriched California State University, East Bay, the broader East Bay region, California and the country. A lifelong resident of the East Bay, she is a model of citizenship, professional achievement and personal excellence.

A key figure in the Bay Area art community, Ms. Howard is known for her large-scale sculptural installations, public artworks and assemblage sculptures. In addition to many public art commissions, her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. It has been included in the permanent museum collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Oakland Museum of California and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others. Ms. Howard's work centers the intersection of history, politics and gender, using everyday material in her sculptures to tell stories about home and belonging.

A recipient of two Rockefeller Fellowships, she has received numerous awards over the years including from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Flintridge Foundation Award for Visual Art. In 2011, Ms. Howard was honored at Berkeley City Hall with the declaration that March 29, 2011 would be Mildred Howard Day. In 2012, she received a SPUR Award, described as San Francisco's "largest and most prominent annual civic award" from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association. Earlier this year, she was honored by the San Jose Museum of Art for her extraordinary body of work and significant contributions to the art world. 

Ms. Howard holds an associate degree in Fashion Art from the College of Alameda and an MFA in Fiberworks from John F. Kennedy University. She has taught at several universities, including Stanford, Brown and the California College of the Arts. In addition to her well-established career as an artist and lecturer, Ms. Howard was selected by chef and author Alice Waters to serve as executive director of The Edible Schoolyard, offering middle school-aged youth hands-on education in the garden and the kitchen with a focus on sustainable agriculture. Following that experience, for over a decade Ms. Howard led the art and communities program at the Exploratorium in San Francisco where she developed a curriculum aimed at integrating art and science for elementary and middle school teachers. 

In recognition of her innovative artwork, community leadership in the East Bay region and exceptional accomplishments and contributions, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, East Bay are proud to confer upon Mildred Howard the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.​​