Roberta Elliott

Honorary Degrees

California State University, Monterey Bay

Roberta “Bertie" Elliott has been a steadfast supporter of CSU Monterey Bay for 25 years, beginning  with a collaboration with the university's first president, Peter Smith. Both personally and through her foundation, the Berkshire Foundation, Mrs. Elliott has supported the sciences, the university library, the Women's Leadership Council scholarship and the arts. One initiative, RISE (Recruitment in Science Education), has helped more than 500 high school students succeed in the field of science. In total, her lifetime giving to CSUMB is over $7.5 million.

Mrs. Elliott is also an active community philanthropist with a demonstrated commitment to education, the arts and healthcare in Monterey County. Her 2017 gift to Montage Health of $105 million launched the community family behavioral health program, Ohana, serving the needs of local families. The donation was the largest in the history of the Community Hospital of Monterey County (CHOMP) and made it possible to expand mental health services for children and youth in the region.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Mrs. Elliot graduated from Northwestern University in 1954 with a degree in history with Phi Beta Kappa honors. In 1963, she and her then-husband moved to Carmel, California to raise their family. She was an early investor in Berkshire Hathaway which was founded by her brother, legendary investor Warren Buffett. She and her three daughters established the Berkshire Foundation in 1996 and have supported many organizations and institutions through it. In 2015, Mrs. Elliott donated $100 million to Northwestern University to establish the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies.

Mrs. Elliot has served on numerous boards including from 1997-2003 for Montage Health/CHOMP. During her time as a board member, she led the campaign to build the hospital's Comprehensive Cancer Center and provided support for numerous other projects including the Family Birth Center and Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. Additional board appointments include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Monterey County Symphony Association, Carmel Bach Festival and Community Foundation for Monterey County. She is also a former president of the Junior League of Monterey County. 

In recognition of her philanthropy and commitment to CSU Monterey Bay and the greater Monterey community, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Monterey Bay are proud to confer upon Roberta “Bertie" Elliott the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.