California State University, Sacramento

Richard W. Riley has served the United States in many capacities—as a naval officer, elected representative, and two-term South Carolina governor—but perhaps most notably as U.S. Secretary of Education during the Clinton administration, a position he was appointed to after earning national recognition for his efforts to improve education in his home state of South Carolina.

Mr. Riley has also served the country as an elected state representative and senator from South Carolina. He was so popular with the electorate that after the first of his two terms as governor, voters amended the state Constitution to enable him to run a second time.

During his term as Secretary, Mr. Riley helped raise academic standards, improve educational programs for the poor and disadvantaged, expand grant loan programs, prepare students for the world of work, and improve teaching. He also led a charge to give schools and libraries reasonably priced internet access and strengthen the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.

Mr. Riley is consistently referred to by both his political colleagues and the media as one of the most decent and honorable people in public life.

In recognition of his lifetime of dedication to the field of education, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Sacramento are proud to confer upon Richard W. Riley the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.