Raudel J. Bañuelos

Honorary Degrees


Ca​lifornia State University Channel Islands​

Raudel J. Ba​ñuelos is a richly caring person who personifies many of the values that California State University Channel Islands holds dear as a campus community. He has dedicated his life to the preservation of the Native Chumash culture and to the grounds upon which the CSU Channel Islands campus now stands. His undying commitment to the betterment of campus and region is heartening, and will be remembered by the Cal State Channel Islands community for decades to come. As a dedicated and passionate advocate of the Chumash people, Mr. Bañuelos champions the voices of those whom history has silenced. He has left a lasting legacy of distinction in the greater Ventura County community.

Mr. Bañuelos is of Chumash descent and has served as the vice tribal chair of the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians. A lifelong resident of Ventura County, he began his career in the early 1980s working on the Grounds Team when the space on which the campus currently stands housed the Camarillo State Hospital. He finished his career in the position of director of Facility Support. While at CSU Channel Islands, he held the distinguished position of co-chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Cultural Protocols. Mr. Bañuelos retired in December 2020 with nearly 40 years of state service.

Mr. Bañuelos’ dedicated work has garnered much distinction for the university and the greater Ventura County community. His work was instrumental in the campus’s efforts to restore the trail to the top of the sacred Sathwiwa, or Round Mountain, and he and other local indigenous leaders were key in the Ventura County Board of Supervisors’ decision to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Mr. Bañuelos has been a vital member of the CSU Channel Islands community since its inception. He provided sage advice to all three campus presidents on matters concerning local Chumash traditions and customs, providing blessings and land acknowledgments at important university events. He is truly a living history of the grounds that house CSU Channel Islands.

In recognition of his considerable contributions to campus and the community, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University Channel Islands are proud to confer upon Raudel J. Bañuelos the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.