Jerome Julian Lohr

Honorary Degrees

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo​

Winemaker and businessman Mr. Jerome Julian Lohr is a passionate industry leader and pioneer who helped establish California’s Central Coast as a major winegrowing region. Leading one of the most successful multigenerational family wineries in the world, Mr. Lohr has received numerous accolades for his commitment to producing quality wines. He is also a major benefactor of research and education in viticulture and enology. His vineyards cover more than 5,000 acres, with land in Paso Robles, Napa Valley and Monterey County. J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines is recognized as an acclaimed brand and is featured in more than 40 countries.

Mr. Lohr graduated from South Dakota State University in 1958 with a degree in engineering. A year later, he earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University. In 1961, he completed all coursework and university and department orals for a doctorate in civil engineering.

Mr. Lohr’s dedication to his industry is evident in his advocacy for change and sustainability, as well as his leadership in experimentation. He is a founding chairman and current director of the National Grape and Wine Initiative; one of four founding members of Wine Vision; and the co-founder and four-time chair of the Monterey Winegrowers’ Council. Mr. Lohr has won numerous honors over the years, including the 2008 Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance’s Wine Industry Person of the Year; the California Association of Winegrape Growers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011; and Wine Enthusiast’s 2016 American Wine Legend.

Mr. Lohr has partnered with California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo on a number of levels. From 2012-2015, Mr. Lohr served on the President’s Council of Advisors; he currently sits on the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council of Wine and Viticulture. In addition, he has been integral in developing Cal Poly’s Wine and Viticulture Program and has pledged $1 million to the program as seed money for the $8 million Wine and Viticulture Innovation Center. Mr. Lohr regularly hires Cal Poly graduates and provides hands-on internships to students. He has played a significant role in the university’s teaching of vineyard and winery operations.

In recognition of his dedication and visionary leadership in the wine industry and in the local community, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo are proud to confer upon Jerome Julian Lohr the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.