San Diego State University announced Friday that it will confer three honorary degrees during its graduation ceremonies this month as well as one later this year.
The university will award honorary degrees later this month to SDSU President Emeritus Sally Roush, Father Joe’s Villages President Emeritus Father Joe Carroll and Christopher Sickels, a leader of the Campaign for SDSU fundraising effort, which raised more than $800 million for the university.
Later this year, university President Adela de la Torre will present an honorary degree to Ellen Ochoa, a retired astronaut and SDSU graduate who will return to the university in October during the 2019 President’s Lecture Series. The four degrees awarded this year are a university record, according to SDSU.
Roush became the first woman to serve as the university’s top executive in 2017, serving as interim president for the 2017-2018 school year after then-President Elliot Hirshman left the university to become the president of Maryland’s Stevenson University.
California State University Chancellor Timothy White tapped Roush for the interim presidency after she worked for SDSU in various positions for more than 30 years.
Carroll has worked with the region’s homeless residents for almost 40 years, serving as president and CEO of the St. Vincent de Paul Village from 1982 to 2011. The St. Vincent de Paul Village was renamed to Father Joe’s Villages in 2015. Carroll’s namesake organization has assisted thousands of homeless residents in finding shelter, medical assistance, childcare, housing and other resources since he took over 37 years ago.
Sickels, an SDSU graduate, helped launch the Campaign for SDSU in 2007 while serving as a member of the Campanile Foundation, the university’s philanthropic arm.
He also assisted in the development of the SDSU West plan to revelop the current SDCCU Stadium site into a mixed-use development that includes a new stadium for Aztec football and a satellite campus.
The university has awarded 47 honorary degrees since 1963, when then- President John F. Kennedy became the first to receive one.
This year’s awards will push that total past 50.
— City News Service