William J. KearneyWilliam J. Kearney
Financial Executive/Philanthropist/Civic Leader

California State University Channel Islands

William "Bill" Kearney is a tremendous supporter of CSU Channel Islands (CI) and was instrumental in providing a solid foundation for the establishment of CI. Bill's involvement with the University began in 1999 w​hen he and his wife Elise became founding members of the President's Circle. As a member of the President's Circle, Bill gives generously of his time and talent for the advancement of CI. Bill has provided financial gifts and secured significant donations from businesses and local partners. In addition, he regularly mentors students, graduates and volunteers for campus initiatives and events.

Bill served as the Chairman of the University's Foundation Board of Directors from 2007-2009 and has served on the Board since 2003. During his tenure, Bill facilitated numerous gifts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, which resulted in the creation of student scholarships, the attainment of the Robert J. Lagomarsino Archives, the design and construction of the Margaret Tiplady Burgess Courtyard, and the building of the Central Mall Fountain.

In honor of Bill's exemplary work for CI, he was presented the Lagomarsino Award in 2009. This award is the University's top honor signifying exceptional service, extraordinary achievement, and embodiment of CI campus' values.

Bill is not only generous with CI, but he also dedicates his time and financial resources to a number of non-profit organizations within Ventura County. He has served on a number of governing boards including Casa Pacifica, United Way of Ventura County, Rubicon Theatre, Rotary, Community Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice Board of Directors and the Boys & Girls Club.

Bill is also highly accomplished within his profession. Bill has held numerous positions within Merrill Lynch and continues to be promoted within the company. He is Senior Vice President of Private Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch in Oxnard and has served on the National Advisory Council to Management. Bill is a leader who maintains high ethical standards, actively works for the betterment of humankind, is generous in all areas of his life, is driven for excellence, and brings joy to all who know him.

In recognition of his commitment and service to our community, his support of the education of college students, and as a tribute to this man's remarkable life, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University Channel Islands are proud to confer upon William J. Kearney an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.