East Bay

Mr. Yoji Unoki is an internationally recognized business, education and civic leader who has made significant and sustained contributions to his profession and enhanced the quality of life for the surrounding community and beyond.

After graduating from Hosei University in Tokyo with a degree in law, Mr. Unoki began a career spanning 27 years at the Japanese retail giant, Daiei Incorporated. Initially hired as a manager, he rose through the ranks, eventually becoming Executive Advisor to the President of Daiei Incorporated. In 1988, he was named CEO of the new Daiei Hawks, a professional baseball team housed in Fukuoka. Under his leadership, a 47,000-seat domed stadium was built, the first of its kind in Japan, as well as Hawks Town, a community development surrounding the stadium.

Throughout Mr. Unoki’s professional career, his astute operational and financial management acumen has been instrumental to the growth and development of several prominent national and international companies and Fukuoka’s economy. In 1991, he was named Councilor to Fukuoka University of Education, later known as the Fukuoka Institute of Technology. After assuming the position of Chairman and CEO, Mr. Unoki developed a progressive and transformative plan to advance the university, establishing several engineering departments and a graduate school with the aim to prepare graduates for the 21st century.

Part of the educational philosophy Mr. Unoki has championed includes the transformational benefits of cultural exchange.  Since 2003, California State University, East Bay has partnered with Fukuoka Institute of Technology (FIT) in a series of unique programs designed to bring change to education in both Japan and America. Together, our universities have developed diverse, multicultural and meaningful educational experiences for students, faculty and administrators.  Students have participated in immersive programs concentrated on peer mentoring and language, as well as athletic and artistic exchanges.  Over the years, teams of FIT administrators have visited CSU East Bay, with specific knowledge areas of study. One of the more intensive programs has involved embedding FIT faculty with our College of Science faculty to examine best practices in pedagogy and instruction.  These important exchanges have fostered collegiality and a deep appreciation between our institutions.

In recognition of his support for education, his extraordinary professional achievements and outstanding civic leadership, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, East Bay are proud to confer upon Mr. Yoji Unoki the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.