Dennis P. Murphy

Honorary Degrees


California State University, Chico​

After Dennis P. Murphy graduated from California State University, Chico with a degree in civil engineering in 1994, ​he accepted a job with Hayden Homes that would mark the start of a lifetime of leadership and philanthropy, benefitting communities throughout the Pacific Northwest.

An astute businessman with more than 20 years in construction, engineering and development, Mr. Murphy was promoted to president of Hayden Homes in 1999, became its Chief Executive Officer in 2015, and continues to lead its financial success. The company’s dedication to building high-quality residential communities and investing in the communities in which it builds resonated with him both professionally and personally. Mr. Murphy embodies an incredible spirit of generosity that drives Hayden Homes’ philanthropy. He passionately carries on the legacy established by its founder and believes that we should live in a world where we give more than we get.

Under his leadership, Hayden Homes and its related nonprofit, First Story, support charitable organizations that provide food, shelter, emergency relief and basic human services to children, seniors, veterans and others in need. Mr. Murphy is personally involved in several additional charitable causes, including Big Brothers Big Sisters. One of his hopes is that by leading by example he will inspire others to follow a similar path.

That dream is being embraced at his alma mater, where he has been instrumental in California State University, Chico’s commitment to building a culture of philanthropy. Mr. Murphy has been a long-time supporter of the campus, becoming a donor shortly after earning his degree. In addition to dedicated gifts, an endowed scholarship and an endowed professorship, he is an inaugural member of the Tower Society—supporting the leadership—giving program at its highest level - and is a leading benefactor in the university’s first comprehensive campaign, Transform Tomorrow. He has made a bold statement to other donors and students to build a life defined by generosity, community and family. In recognition of his investment in the university’s people, programs and the campus itself, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Chico are proud to confer upon Dennis P. Murphy the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.