Debra A. Cannon

Honorary Degrees


California State University, Chico​

Debra A. Cannon is a successful business leader, entrepreneur and cofounder of Lulu’s Fashion Lounge. She is widely known for her innovative vision and philanthropic spirit, which extends to the Chico community and beyond.

Ms. Cannon graduated from California State University, Chico at the top of her class in 1977 with a degree in American studies and went on to study at the University of Oregon School of Library Science. She worked in education and public libraries, including a return to Chico State to work in Special Collections at Meriam Library, where she organized and classified the incredible collection of memorabilia that comprises the Oscar Stansbury Papers.

In 1996, Ms. Cannon and her daughter founded Lulu’s Fashion Lounge, a boutique in downtown Chico that honored their passion for fashion, aesthetics and culture. After starting a web sales component, Lulus became an online-only retailer in 2008, and has grown tremendously in the last decade. Today, Lulus has 1.6 million followers on Instagram, boasts annual revenue in the hundreds of millions of dollars and employs more than 900 people. Ms. Cannon, and the remarkable rise and success of her company, have been profiled in Forbes, Footwear News, Medium, Digital Commerce 360, Business Insider, and the women’s fashion news journal Women’s Wear Daily. Twice Inc. magazine has named Lulus one of the fastest growing companies in America.

At Chico State, Ms. Cannon is a member of the University Foundation Board, where she serves as a steward of donors’ gifts and endowments while also engaging parents and the community in charitable giving. To support the next generation of business leaders and ensure that financial obstacles are not a barrier to life-changing opportunities, she also endowed a scholarship through the Center for Entrepreneurship, where she is a regular speaker, helps judge student competitions and provides advice to budding student entrepreneurs.

The College of Business named Ms. Cannon a Distinguished Alumna in 2014, in recognition of her leadership within her profession and partnership with Chico State to ensure the integrity of academic programs.

In recognition of her distinguished career and her ongoing philanthropic and business efforts that have greatly benefitted the City of Chico and Chico State, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Chico are proud to confer upon Ms. Debra A. Cannon the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.