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SDSU Announces 2014 Honorary Doctorates

Robert Price and Patricia L. Roscoe are this year’s honorary degree recipients.
Price and Roscoe will be honored during commencement ceremonies on May 16
Price and Roscoe will be honored during commencement ceremonies on May 16

San Diego State University announced it will award honorary doctorate degrees to two distinguished San Diegans. Robert Price and Patricia L. Roscoe will be honored during commencement ceremonies on May 16.

“We are extremely pleased to confer honorary doctorates on two San Diegans, Robert Price and Patti Roscoe, who have been extraordinary contributors to our university and to the entire San Diego region,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “Robert's and Patti’s counsel, generosity and selfless dedication to our community are models for our students to emulate. We are grateful for their support of San Diego State University, and I am personally honored to count Robert and Patti as friends."

Robert Price

San Diegan’s know the Price family for their success pioneering the concept of membership warehouse club merchandising with the founding of Price Club, but the SDSU community also knows them for their philanthropic support.

In 2000, SDSU and the Price Family Charitable Fund formed a partnership to connect the university to the community of City Heights through an agreement with the San Diego Unified School District and the association representing teachers. SDSU faculty and students have since engaged in a transformative intervention in three City Heights schools — Rosa Parks Elementary, Monroe Clark Middle and Hoover High.

Led by Price and his dedicated colleagues at Price Charities and the Price Family Charitable Fund, the partnership has improved learning outcomes, social services and health care for neighborhood families, while providing opportunities for SDSU faculty and students to research and reform urban education.

The partnership includes the College Avenue Compact, which guarantees admission to graduates of Hoover High School who meet prescribed scholastic standards; and the Price Community Scholars Program, which provides scholarships to students from San Diego inner city communities who mentor City Heights students from 7th through 10th grades.

In recognition of his accomplishments as a visionary entrepreneur, community advocate and champion of higher education, SDSU's College of Health and Human Services will confer upon Price the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Price and his father Sol — who received an honorary degree from SDSU in 2003 — are the first father and son pair to receive honorary degrees from SDSU.

Patricia L. Roscoe

A hard working, civic-minded, community and industry icon, Roscoe is a leading architect and advocate for the international tourism industry and a woman dedicated to the preparation of the next generation of leaders.

For 26 years, Roscoe owned and operated PRA Destination Management Company, growing it from a local firm to an international business.

A dedicated friend of SDSU, Roscoe co-founded its L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and helped raise more than $20 million to support it. Her personal gift to the school created an endowed faculty position in support of the Institute for Meetings and Events.

Roscoe continues to support the Payne School by sitting on the Board of Advisers and contributing countless hours mentoring students and leveraging her professional relationships to develop internship and employment opportunities.

Her commitment to SDSU has also benefited musical theatre, veteran’s programs, athletics, faculty research and the arts. A board member of SDSU’s Campanile Foundation, Roscoe is an enthusiastic volunteer and spokesperson for the university.

Roscoe will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters at the commencement ceremony for the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 16.

An honorable history

Since John F. Kennedy was awarded the university’s first honorary degree in 1963, SDSU has conferred a total of 38 honorary doctorates to local, national and international figures. The list includes Israeli president Shimon Peres, former California governor Pete Wilson, College Hall of Fame football coach Don Coryell and former San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders. A complete list of honorary doctorate recipients can be found online.

About SDSU Commencement

Approximately 9,300 degree candidates will participate in one of seven SDSU Commencement ceremonies May 16-18 at Viejas Arena. SDSU Imperial Valley Campus will also host a commencement ceremony May 15 on the Rollie Carrillo Quad.

Schedules and additional information about SDSU’s Commencement ceremonies can be found online.

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