Ronald M. AuenRonald M. Auen

Philanthropist/Civic Leader

California State University, San Bernardino

Consummate philanthropists Ronald M. and Sherrie C. Auen are leaders for their generosity nationally and in the Coachella Valley. As longtime loyal supporters of California State University, San Bernardino and its Palm Desert Campus, the Auens are helping to transform lives through their charitable vision and support for education.

Ronald M. Auen has been an extraordinary president and chief executive officer of the H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation since 1988, and his foresight led to the formation, guidance and expansion of the foundation. In successfully guiding the foundation's diverse philanthropic interests and growth for more than two decades, he reflects the Berger legacy to "help people help themselv​es." The Berger Foundation operates with a hands-on approach to philanthropy and a philosophy anchored in the Auens' personable style and own humble beginnings.

As trustees of the Auen Foundation in Palm Desert, Mr. and Mrs. Auen also have been at the forefront in supporting innovative programs that enrich the quality of life for the elderly and aging, awarding more than 1,000 grants to charitable and educational programs and services since 1991. Their critical work has focused on intergenerational involvement, healthy aging, quality of life, and care-giving issues.

Their meritorious and outstanding service to Cal State San Bernardino has been demonstrated repeatedly over the years through scholarship contributions to CSUSB and its Palm Desert Campus. In addition to their own gifts, total contributions to the university from the Berger Foundation have exceeded $6 million.

A remarkable 80 percent of grants from both the Berger and Auen foundations are given to nonprofits in the Coachella Valley and Southern California to support programs benefitting education and social services. Since 1988, the Berger Foundation has contributed more than $350 million to charities throughout the world. By supporting the I Have a Dream program, the Berger Foundation -during a 15-year period -shepherded the education of more than 175 at-risk children in Pasadena, taking them from elementary school through high school graduation and giving them the tools to go on to a trade school or college.

In recognition of their many accomplishments and extensive contributions to the university and the community, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, San Bernardino are proud to confer upon Ronald M. Auen and Sherrie C. Auen the honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters.