Honorary Degrees

Samuel Sharon Farr

For over four decades, Samuel Sharon Farr has been an influential and passionate leader in both Monterey County and the nation. His work aligns with both the California State University mission and the California State University, Monterey Bay vision statement.

Congressman Farr was instrumental in the founding of CSUMB. He saw the presence of a CSU campus as integral to the future success of the Central Coast region. Facing the economic loss caused by the closure of Fort Ord, the region needed an economic driver, and the idea of a university that could also serve as a cultural and intellectual hub for the region emerged as the ideal answer. Congressman Farr eagerly pursued this opportunity, resulting in the founding of California State University, Monterey Bay in 1994.

Congressman Farr served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia from 1964-66. When he returned from his Peace Corps service, he worked as a staffer for the California Assembly, and was elected to the Monterey County Board of Supervisors in 1975.

In 1980, he was elected to the State California State Assembly, where he wrote one of the nation's strictest oil spill liability laws and championed the organic agricultural industry. In this work, he was a champion of his district by focusing on its major industry, agriculture, and its greatest resource—the Pacific Ocean. Marine science in the region thrive in part because of Congressman’s Farr’s work in both the California Assembly and the U.S. Congress, where he was a steadfast proponent of ocean conservation.

In his time in Congress, Congressman Farr sponsored and supported legislation that has had a direct positive impact on his district. He advocated for affordable housing, improved education and health care, and farmworkers and their families. He supported the environment through his work on ocean protection (including his support of designating Monterey Bay as a National Marine Sanctuary) and his legislation to create America’s 59th and newest national park, Pinnacles National Park, which helps drive economic growth through expanded tourism to the region. He also supported the defense community in many ways, including supporting the revitalization of the former Fort Ord−which now has a joint Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense health clinic−a new Central Coast Veterans Cemetery and CSUMB.

In recognition of his many accomplishments and work to forward equality at both the local and national levels, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Monterey Bay are proud to confer upon Samuel Sharon “Sam” Farr the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.