Steven M. LopezSteven M. Lopez
Los Angeles Times columnist and author

San José State University​

Steven M. Lopez is best known for a series of columns and a book about his unlikely friendship with a homeless, mentally ill musician. His book The Soloist inspired the 2009 film of the same name. But Mr. Lopez is also an extraordinary journalist who has chronicled the news, events and people of southern California for the last decade—and he has become a powerful voice for the role of journalism in addressing societal issues.

Lopez joined the staff of the Los Angeles Times in May 2001 after four years at Time Inc., where he wrote for Time, Sports Illustrated, Life and Entertainment Weekly. Prior to Time Inc., Mr. Lopez was a columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Jose Mercury News and the Oakland Tribune. He is also the author of three novels and a book of non-fiction. His work has won numerous national journalism awards for column writing and magazine reporting, including the 2009 PEN Award for creative nonfiction.

During a time when journalism is changing, Mr. Lopez's body of work has helped to build connections among individuals and communities. His work embodies the ideals of both the California State University and San José State University.

In recognition of his contributions to the field of journalism and his dedication to building awareness about homelessness and mental illness, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San José State University are proud to confer upon Steven M. Lopez the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.