Jean LaneJean Lane

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

A champion of the environment, education and the arts, Jean Lane has worked tirelessly and given generously to support dozens of causes coast to coast.

Mrs. Lane employs innovative methods to advance environmental and cultural preservation. She and her husband, Bill, provided financial support and leadership for the sale and transfer of an environmentally sensitive 37-acre parcel of Santa Cruz forest land from a rock quarry to the State of California. The Lanes have given to the Peninsula Open Space Trust to support preservation of San Mateo County coastal lands, and provided the lead gift toward a new facility at Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.

The Lanes’ personal commitment to environmental education is demonstrated by the Lane Publishing Company’s magazine, Sunset, a leading source of information and inspiration about the environment. Moreover, they support various programs, including Cal Poly’s Leaning Pine Arboretum, an outdoor learning laboratory featuring plants from the five Mediterranean regions of the world. Mrs. Lane has served on the boards of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the National Tropical Botanical Garden, the Woodside-Atherton Garden Club, and the National Advisory Council of the Filoli Center, a National Trust for Historic Preservation property.

An accomplished musician, she has played harpsichord in the baroque Portola Trio since 1976. Her philanthropic support for the arts includes establishment of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance and the Jean Gimbel Lane Humanities Professorship, both at Northwestern University; and generous donations to the Performing Arts Center on the Cal Poly campus.

Mrs. Lane is an emeritus member of the President’s Cabinet at Cal Poly, an advisory body of business leaders. The Lanes are founding benefactors of the Baker Forum Endowment, established to support a biennial forum for senior leaders on critical public policy issues facing the nation and higher education.

In recognition of her extraordinary leadership and service on behalf of the environment, education and the arts, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo are proud to confer upon Jean Lane the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.