search button
newscenter logo
Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

2022 honorary doctorate recipients (from left) Dianne Louise Bashor, Lidia S. Martinez, Shirley Apple Murphy, Tom Hom and Henry Ruben Murphy 2022 honorary doctorate recipients (from left) Dianne Louise Bashor, Lidia S. Martinez, Shirley Apple Murphy, Tom Hom and Henry Ruben Murphy

SDSU to Award Five Honorary Degrees

The recipients include a major university philanthropist and activists with decades of involvement in issues of community and equity.
By Jeff Ristine

San Diego State University will award five honorary degrees this year, recognizing individuals who have served the university, the San Diego community and the nation.

During this month’s Commencement 2022 ceremonies, honorary degrees will be awarded to Mrs. Dianne Louise Bashor, Tom Hom, Lidia S. Martinez, Henry Ruben Murphy and Shirley Apple Murphy.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy became the first person to receive an honorary doctoral degree from what was then San Diego State College. Since then, the university has awarded 58 more to community leaders and philanthropists, distinguished alumni, national legislators, international dignitaries and others. This year’s awards will bring the total to 63.

About the 2022 Awardees:

Mrs. Dianne Louise Bashor (Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters) is a passionate philanthropist actively involved with and endowing dozens of charitable and civic causes throughout Southern California. In December 2019, she committed $15 million as a lead gift toward the construction of SDSU’s multiuse stadium in SDSU Mission Valley, now known as Snapdragon Stadium, with the Aztecs’ football field to be designated Bashor Field. Other beneficiaries of her gifts include the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, the San Diego-Imperial Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Father Joe's Villages, and the San Diego Symphony. As a young couple, Mrs. Bashor and her late husband, businessman Jim Bashor, developed residential and commercial real estate projects throughout San Diego and Riverside counties through Cal West Apartments, now a holding company for over 20 corporations in California and Kansas, where Mrs. Bashor continues to oversee operations as chairwoman.

The son of Chinese immigrants, Tom Hom (Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters) became the first Asian American and the first person of color elected to the San Diego City Council in 1963. During his time on the council, Hom was chairman of the task force that worked toward approval of San Diego Stadium, which became home to the San Diego Padres and the San Diego Chargers. He played a leading role in efforts to revitalize a rundown area of Downtown San Diego into the Gaslamp Quarter Historic District and was the founding president of the Gaslamp Quarter Association. He also led efforts to establish the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. In February, a section of Third Avenue was designated in his honor. In 1968, he was elected to the California State Assembly, representing the 79th District, and authored the Compensatory Education Bill to benefit minority students and those learning English as a second language.

A longtime advocate for equality and equity, Lidia S. Martinez (Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters) is a first-generation college graduate from the University of Texas at Arlington with a bachelor of science degree in business administration and a minor in marketing. She served Southwest Airlines in its marketing and outreach department for more than 30 years and retired as its manager of community outreach. She participated in the launch of a Department for Multicultural Community Affairs at Southwest, which served as a vessel for the company to engage, empower and invest in communities of color. At SDSU, Martinez is a founding member of the President’s Latino Advisory Board, a board member of The Campanile Foundation, and a member of the University of California San Diego Chancellor’s Advisory Board. She is also a past member of the California State University Foundation Board of Governors.

Hank Murphy and Shirley Murphy (both Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters) are widely recognized and respected tribal elders within their respective tribal communities and nationwide. They founded the Southern Indian Health Clinic in 1982, serving the medical needs of numerous tribal reservations and their members, as well as the surrounding off-reservation population in San Diego County. They also spearheaded the creation of the Sycuan Medical Clinic and the Sycuan Education Department. Hank Murphy was born on the Sycuan Reservation in El Cajon, California, and is an enrolled member of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation with multiple terms on the tribal council. In 1974, he founded the Sycuan Fire Department, one of the first tribal fire teams in the U.S., and the first in San Diego County to offer advanced life support paramedic service. Shirley Murphy was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe. She has conducted extensive research and training on indigenous knowledge and its application to educational curriculum, and in a lifetime of dedication to health care and wellness, she has brought awareness and focus on the intergenerational trauma suffered by Native Americans over the last two centuries.