In 2008, CSULB President F. King Alexander conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on former California Governor and champion of education, George Deukmejian. Deukmejian earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Siena College in 1949 and a JD from St. John’s University in 1952. He has received a total of ten honorary degrees.
Deukmejian established a law practice in Southern California, and he eventually served as state assemblyman, state senator and attorney general prior to becoming the 35th Governor of California. During his eight-year term, he appointed 1,000 judges including several State Supreme Court justices. As a legislator, he sponsored many laws including the “Use a gun, go to prison” law.
Following his service as Governor, he joined the law firm of Sidley & Austin as a partner and eventually senior counsel, until his retirement in 2000. Deukmejian has been a member of the Navy League; American Legion; Elks Club; and served on the Board of Directors of four corporations. In addition, he is past president of the Belmont Shore Business Association, past chairman of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and a past honoree of Leadership Long Beach. He has also been involved with YMCA and the Southern California Leadership Council.
To honor his accomplishments, the proposed new Long Beach Courthouse will be named after him; the structure is scheduled for completion by 2013. Following retirement, Deukmejian re-entered public life by serving on committees, including one formed for the purpose of reforming California’s prison system. He also served on a charter-reform committee in his hometown of Long Beach, and he oversaw the reorganization of UCLA’s Willed Body Program.
Recently, Deukmejian donated his gubernatorial papers to CSULB. He is a member of the Carillon Society, which recognizes donors who have made a substantial contribution to the campus. His honors include the 2011 President’s Distinguished Service Award and the 1999 Rotarian Millennium Achievement Award.
CSULB Awards and Honors:
2011, President’s Distinguished Service Award
Carillon Society Member
BA, 1949, Sociology, Siena College
JD, 1952, St. John’s University
Honorary Doctor of Laws, 2008, CSU Board of Trustees