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San Luis Obispo​

​​The Honorable Lois Capps is committed to helping people improve their daily lives through better schools, quality health care and a cleaner environment. Before succeeding her husband Walter in Congress, Ms. Capps had successful careers in both nursing and education. Her experience in these two areas deeply informed her 18 years of work in Congress, where she served as a representative for California’s 24th district, which includes all of San Luis Obispo County.

Ms. Capps is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree with honors in nursing. She later earned a master’s degree in religion at Yale, while working as a head nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital. She then moved west and earned another master’s degree in education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. While serving in the United States House of Representatives, Ms. Capps was a respected leader on issues of public health, passing legislation to address the national nursing shortage, detect and prevent domestic violence against women, curb underage drinking, improve mental health services, provide emergency defibrillators to local communities, bring CPR instruction to schools and provide immediate Medicare coverage to patients suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Ms. Capps has also been at the forefront of efforts to protect the environment, leading efforts to stop new oil and gas drilling off our coasts, reduce the amount of new oil drilling in Los Padres National Park and protect consumers from shouldering the financial burden of cleaning up methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) contamination in their water supply.

Ms. Capps has been a strong supporter of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and the CSU system as a whole, throughout her political career. She authored a letter of support for a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, which was approved and resulted in Cal Poly San Luis Obispo receiving the funds to help expand its Technology Park. In early 2017, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo received a $2.8 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health that will allow kinesiology professor Susan Phelan to lead a study on gestational diabetes. In turn, Ms. Capps took the time to visit Cal Poly’s campus in May and speak with Professor Phelan about additional federal investment in her research. She also met with Cal Poly’s Solar Decathlon team to discuss renewable energy capabilities in homebuilding, and hosted a clean energy forum on the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus.

In recognition of her honorable work and achievements, the California State University and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo are proud to confer upon the Honorable Lois Capps the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.