CSU, Chico News

Honorary Doctorates To Be Awarded to Cisco Systems Co-founder Sandy Lerner and Political Analyst and Campaign Manager Ed Rollins

Date: 05-08-2012

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Sandy Lerner and Ed Rollins, two of California State University, Chico’s most successful alumni, will be awarded honorary doctorates by the University later this month.

The honors will be part of CSU, Chico’s 122nd commencement exercises and celebrations, which begin Thursday, May 17, and conclude Sunday, May 20.

Rollins will receive the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Friday, May 18, at the Graduate-Master’s Degree Ceremony at 4:30 p.m. in Laxson Auditorium, and Lerner will receive the Honorary Doctor of Science on Saturday, May 19, at the Commencement Ceremony starting at 9 a.m. in the University Stadium. Lerner will also be the Commencement speaker on May 19 and May 20.

The honorary degrees are conferred by the California State University Board of Trustees and CSU, Chico.

Lerner co-founded Cisco Systems, Inc., maker of the first commercially viable router that allowed computers to network. She also founded Urban Decay, a cosmetics company, and helped create Petlink, a database system of missing and up-for-adoption cats and dogs. Last year Lerner published a novel, “Second Impressions,” written in the idiom of Jane Austen’s time that is a sequel to Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”

Lerner is the recipient of numerous awards, including the inaugural JANE Award from the Jane Austen Society of North America, the IEEE Award for Lifetime Technical Achievement, and awards from the Feminist Press, United Animal Nations and Friends of Animals.

She received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from CSU, Chico in 1975, and earned an MA in econometrics at Claremont College and an MS in statistics and computer science at Stanford University. She is the 1996 Distinguished Alumna from CSU, Chico’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Rollins is a veteran political analyst and campaign manager who has served four U.S. presidents. He was in charge of the White House Office of Political Affairs and Office of Intergovernmental Affairs as well as serving as the deputy chief of staff during the Reagan administration. He has had managerial roles in 10 presidential campaigns, including managing Ronald Reagan’s landslide reelection campaign in 1984.

Rollins is a senior political analyst for Fox News and appears regularly on Meet the Press, This Week, Face the Nation, Nightline, the Today Show and many other talk shows. His memoir, “Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms,” was the No. 1 selling political book in America in 1996.

Rollins transferred to CSU, Chico from Vallejo Junior College and earned his BA in political science in 1968. While at Chico State he was a member of the prestigious “Block C” athletic letterman’s society and helped coach the varsity boxing team to the National College Boxing Championship.