Sally Roush

Honorary Degrees


San Diego State University​

Over the past three decades, literally everyone associated with San Diego State University has benefited from the positive influence of Ms. Sally Roush.

Her distinguished career at San Diego State includes 19 years of service as senior vice president of Business and Financial Affairs and chief financial officer, with sweeping responsibility for the budget, intercollegiate athletics, real estate development and capital planning, public safety, campus facilities, human resources and labor relations, and legal affairs and information technology.

A mainstay of the President’s Cabinet, she was a trusted adviser to three San Diego State presidents and co-chair of the steering committee that guided the university community in developing its strategic plan “Building on Excellence.” The plan’s initiatives resulted in record-high graduation rates, nationally recognized areas of research excellence, 350 annual arts events and an energized community of alumni and friends whose support raised $815 million during The Campaign for San Diego State University.

After retiring, she continued her service to the California State University as a special consultant to campuses and by serving briefly as the university's interim vice chancellor and chief financial officer.

Ms. Roush’s stature and record of accomplishment was such that in 2018, five years after her retirement from San Diego State, CSU Chancellor Timothy White asked her to return and lead the university during a pivotal year between the departure of one president and the appointment of his successor.

Ms. Roush was the first woman to serve in a chief executive role for the university. During her tenure, she steered San Diego State through the final stage of the strategic plan; led celebrations for the university’s 120th anniversary year; appointed a task force that informed her decisions on the future of the Aztec identity and Aztec moniker; and developed a vision for the growth and expansion of San Diego State on the land currently occupied by and surrounding San Diego County Credit Union Stadium. She continues to be deeply involved in the San Diego State University Mission Valley project.

Her many recognitions include the CSU’s Wang Family Excellence Award for administrators, the Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award from the Mountain West Conference and the CFO of the Year Award from the San Diego Business Journal.

In appreciation of her resolute integrity, unparalleled work ethic and intense devotion to San Diego State University, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San Diego State University are proud to confer upon Ms. Sally Roush the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.