​​Judy Rodriguez WatsonJudy Rodriguez Watson

Businesswoman/Philanthropist/Community Leader

California State University, San Bernardino

One of the region's most dynamic and beloved individuals, Judy Rodriguez Watson has made an extraordinary impact on the community as a philanthropist, volunteer and benefactor. She serves as co-president of the Seal Beach-based Watson and Associates Development Corporation and is an ardent supporter of education and the arts.

Judy attributes her zeal and dedication to her father, Raymundo Rodriguez, who instilled in her an appreciation for the arts, encouraged her to travel and to be successful in whatever endeavor she chose, without forgetting where she came from. In 2011, Judy Watson served as honorary chairperson for the Latino Education and Advocacy Days Summit at CSUSB and was affectionately termed, "La Madrina de Honor," or godmother. The event, which focused on increasing the college-going rate of Latino students, attracted more than 1,000 students to campus and tens of thousands of viewers.

In 2006, Judy and her husband James co-chaired CSUSB's "Tools for Education" fundraising campaign to construct a new building that could accommodate the growing graduate-student population for the College of Education at Cal State San Bernardino. The campaign raised more than $3 million for the building and helped open its doors in 2008.

She is also committed to helping children become better students and ultimately productive citizens. Since 2003, she has contributed to, and advocated for, CSUSB's Literacy Center, which was established in the College of Education to provide tutorial assistance to students throughout the community. The center is now named the Watson and Associates Literacy Center. Her work doesn't end with the College of Education. Over the years, Judy has put together an extensive list of contributions which include support of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, Children's Museum of Orange County, San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra and Trees for Seal Beach Fund.

Judy hopes that her story will inspire Latino youth, engaging more Latinos/Latinas who are positive and motivating role models and who think outside the box in all areas.

Ms. Watson's achievements demonstrate many of the core values of our community and she will represent the California State University system and CSU San Bernardino with distinction.

In recognition of her many accomplishments and extensive contributions to the university and the community, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, San Bernardino are proud to confer upon Judy Rodriguez Watson the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.