San Luis Obispo

José Zaglul is an educator, agriculturalist and advocate for social justice.  He brings the language of love and respect to the university classroom, and opportunities to young leaders from socio-economically depressed regions to improve the quality of life of their families and communities.

Dr. Zaglul is President of EARTH University, a non-profit institution in Costa Rica founded in 1989.  As the university’s first president, he shaped its mission: to prepare leaders with ethical values who contribute to sustainable development and construct a prosperous and just society.  Under his guidance, more than two thousand students from 35 countries have graduated and spread EARTH University’s vision throughout the world.

Born in Costa Rica to Lebanese parents, Dr. Zaglul performed his undergraduate studies at the American University of Beirut and earned his master’s in Animal Science there.  He then attended the University of Florida where he was awarded a Master of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition and a PhD in Animal Science. 

Dr. Zaglul chose to devote his life to education early in his career.  He led the Animal Production Department at the Center for Tropical Agriculture Research and Education in Costa Rica, the oldest postgraduate school of agriculture in Latin America.  He was a Professor of Food Science and then a Vice President of Research and Extension at the Technological Institute of Costa Rica.

Today, Dr. Zaglul pursues a variety of educational endeavors.  He has founded or led organizations such as the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research for Agriculture and he has co-chaired the SEMCIT seminar series
(Sustainability and Education and the Management of Change in the Tropics).  He has earned honorary degrees from several universities around the world.

When he is not traveling to share EARTH University’s model and vision, Dr. Zaglul enjoys his farm in the mountains of Costa Rica with his wife, children and grandchildren.  They grow fruit and steward water springs nearby.

In recognition of his dedication to improved sustainability for the world through educating today’s youth, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo are proud to confer upon José Zaglul the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.