Honorary Degree

CSUSMCalifornia State University San Marcos (CSUSM) awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, to Charles McPherson during its commencement ceremonies on May 16, 2015.



Charles’ longstanding connection to CSUSM and important contributions to its mission has been invaluable. He has not only performed at the university but also given clinics to music classes and special classroom performances. In each instance he demonstrated patience and a great capacity to listen and respond to students’ musical inquiries and concerns. Throughout his professional musical career Charles has fostered numerous mutually beneficial relationships and collaborations with music educators and institutions throughout California and the U.S.

Charles_McPherson_7Charles McPherson’s work exemplifies the primary mission of the California State University. His personal musical journey has helped to advance and extend knowledge, learning and culture, while providing opportunities for individuals to develop intellectually, personally and professionally. The acknowledgment of Mr. McPherson’s life work in music is not only consistent with the principals articulated in the CSU mission, but also a respectful awareness of jazz as American’s classical music.

California State University San Marcos
California State University San Marcos

Honorary degrees recipients are selected by a campus committee of faculty and staff from recommendations made from CSUSM students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater community. Suggested recipients of the award are then forwarded by the committee to the president for approval after which they are sent to the Chancellor of the California State University (CSU) system. The CSU Board of Trustees makes the final determination and awards the degrees in the categories it considers most appropriate.