Andrew J. C. CherngAndrew J. C. Cherng

Founder and Chairman, Panda Restaurant Group

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Andrew Cherng embodies Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Business Administration’s core values of innovation, entrepreneurship and community outreach. Through his incredible business acumen, he turned a single storefront into a billion-dollar company. As founder and chairman of the board for Panda Restaurant Group, he is a restaurant mogul and a noted philanthropist.

In 1973, Mr. Cherng opened his first restaurant in Pasadena, California. With a focus on high-quality food at affordable prices, he took his small business and transformed it into one of the largest and most profitable Chinese restaurant chains in the country. Panda Restaurant Group now operates more than 1,000 Panda Inn, Panda Express and Hibachi-San restaurants in 34 states and Puerto Rico. The company remains family-owned, with Mr. Cherng’s wife, Peggy, serving as chief executive officer and co-chairwoman of the board.

The Cherng family is deeply committed to bettering their community. Panda Cares is a community program that offers food and volunteer services to children’s organizations such as the Special Olympics and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. The Cherngs are ardent benefactors of Cal Poly Pomona, generously giving of their time, hard work and financial support. They have broadened the educational opportunities for all Cal Poly Pomona students through a wide range of initiatives, including student scholarship endowments, student support programs and The Collins School of Hospitality Management building campaign.

Andrew Cherng has received well-deserved recognition for his accomplishments. In 1994, the Los Angeles Business Journal profiled Cherng and included Panda Restaurant Group in its “Top 200” minority-owned businesses list. In 1995, the Nation’s Restaurant News named Panda Express as one of the “Top 100” restaurant chains. This led to a special feature on the restaurant in USA Today. In 2007, ABC’s John Stossel profiled Mr. Cherng’s story in a special edition of 20/20.

In recognition of these and many other achievements, the California State University Board of Trustees and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona are proud to confer on Andrew Cherng the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.