Simon Kuo

Honorary Degrees

California State University San Marcos

As vice president of Corporate Quality at Viasat, Simon Kuo was the driving force behind the global communications company's commitment to join as a founding partner of the engineering program at California State University San Marcos. He is widely known for enthusiastically touting the university's merits among his peers, company and community. 

Mr. Kuo's engagement with CSUSM began in 2013 when he joined the CSUSM College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Dean's Advisory Council as the Viasat representative. Within months he was asked to serve as Chair, and during this time he helped organize the activity and advocacy of the Council to add industry perspectives in focus groups on Cybersecurity, Engineering and “Engibeering." All three of these areas became degree and/or certificate programs at CSUSM. In 2021, Mr. Kuo joined the CSUSM Foundation Board where he has helped advance the strategy on securing funds for a new Integrated Science and Engineering Building. 

Mr. Kuo's most notable achievement as a dedicated CSUSM volunteer and supporter was the effort and expertise he dedicated to the launch of the engineering program in 2018. He partnered with faculty and administrators to advance efforts in HSI Stem grant funding, curriculum development, corporate partnerships and philanthropy. These efforts culminated in a $1.5 million gift from Viasat and its employees to fund the Viasat Engineering Pavilion at CSUSM, the birthplace of CSUSM's burgeoning engineering program. Upon the announcement of this gift, Mr. Kuo said, “We at Viasat believe that diverse ways of thinking and collaboration will help solve global challenges. Partnerships like this foster the innovation, inspiration and growth necessary for the future of our region. We are proud to have our name associated with the university's engineering program."

The engineering program at CSUSM owes much of its success to Mr. Kuo and his enthusiastic approach to advocacy, partnership building and philanthropy. As a first-generation American who grew up in a lower-income family and who went on to realize his dream of connecting the world, he embodies the transformative nature of a college education. Mr. Kuo is a vocal champion of CSUSM's commitment to social mobility and promotes the transcendence of educational pathways for future generations at every opportunity. 

In recognition of his many years of partnership with the university, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University San Marcos are proud to confer upon Simon Kuo the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.