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Coles Receive Honorary Degrees

Published: June 1, 2015

Long-time CSULB supporters, Bob (posthumously) and Regena Cole were awarded honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees at 2015 commencement. Cole accepted both honorary degrees during a conferral ceremony at CSULB’s recent Alumni Awards banquet. This marks the first time since 2008 that honorary degrees have been granted in the name of the university.

“The incredible generosity of the Coles has transformed Cal State Long Beach and has benefitted so many students,” said CSULB President Jane Close Conoley. “I’m pleased that the CSU Trustees have chosen to bestow this honor on such wonderful supporters of our university and the community.”

Passionate about music, the Coles provided CSULB with its largest gift ever resulting in scholarships and the creation of the university’s renowned Bob Cole Conservatory. More than 160 students have become Cole Scholars.

The Coles join nine others who have been conferred an honorary degree in the name of CSULB.

The degrees are given by the CSU Board of Trustees in the name of the California State University (CSU) and in the name of the campus. The CSU awarded its first honorary degree to then-President John F. Kennedy in June 1963 at San Diego State University. CSULB’s first honorary degree was conferred to actor, comedian and author Steve Martin in 1989.

Since the conferral of the first degree, the 23 CSU campuses have awarded honorary degrees to 481 distinguished individuals, with another 22 being named this spring. These recipients have demonstrated excellence in areas that benefit humanity, CSU campuses, the state, nation and/or world. They serve as examples to be recognized and honored for their good works.

Regena Cole

Regena Cole