Cal State Northridge to Award Honorary
to Disney CEO Michael D.
(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., May 23, 2005) — Disney CEO Michael D. Eisner will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) during its College of Education commencement ceremony on Friday, June, 3.
CSUN President Jolene Koester will confer the honorary degree on Eisner from the college that bears his name for his philanthropic leadership, particularly in the areas of education and improving the lives of children throughout the Southern California community. “Michael Eisner and his wife, Jane, through their foundation, have demonstrated a commitment to education and the belief that all students deserve an opportunity to learn. This goes to the core of what our college of Education strives for,” said CSUN President Jolene Koester.
“In addition to his personal commitment, Michael Eisner has built bridges between the worlds of education and entertainment, creating numerous opportunities for collaboration and cooperation. I am delighted that we are honoring such an extraordinary individual,” Koester said. Koester will confer the honorary degree on Eisner during the commencement ceremony for the Michael D. Eisner College of Education at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 3. The ceremony will be held on the lawn of CSUN’s University Club, located on the campus near the northwest corner of Nordhoff Street and Zelzah Avenue.The college was named in Eisner’s honor in 2003 after The Eisner Foundation, established by Eisner and his wife Jane, contributed $7 million to CSUN for the establishment of the Center for Teaching and Learning, which provides national leadership in preparing teachers to support the educational and emotional needs of all children in the classroom. The Eisner Foundation gift provides financial support for the Center for Teaching and Learning and endowed the Eisner Chair in Teaching and Learning, which serves as the center’s director.
Cal State Northridge is considered a leading producer of teachers among public universities in California. CSUN was one of the first four universities nationwide tapped by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to take part in a landmark initiative designed to strengthen K-12 teaching by developing state-of-the-art programs at schools of education.
The Eisner Foundation provides financial support to organizations that undertake innovative and concrete programs designed to enhance and enrich the lives of children and their families who are underserved or having learning differences. The foundation recognizes that all aspects of a child’s life are linked to their community, including personal health, economic stability, appropriate mentors, living conditions and educational opportunities.For more than three decades, Michael Eisner has been a leader in the entertainment industry, helping to shape this key area of the American economy and, since 1984, guiding The Walt Disney Company’s impressive record of creative excellence and growth. In 1984, Disney was a movie studio and theme park operator with revenues of $1.5 billion and net income of approximately $98 million. Twenty years later under Eisner’s leadership, the company has grown into a worldwide entertainment enterprise, with operations on nearly every continent that posted $2.3 billion in profit on revenues of $30 billion in the last fiscal year.Eisner began his career at ABC, where he rose to senior vice president of prime time production and development, taking the network from No. 3 to No. 1. In 1977, Eisner became president of Paramount Pictures, leading the studio to become No. 1 in box office and profitability.Eisner has a B.A. from Denison University in English literature and theater. He serves on the boards of California Institute of the Arts, Denison University, American Hospital of Paris Foundation, the Aspen Institute, the UCLA Executive Board for Medical Sciences, and the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, and is a member of The Business Council.California State University, Northridge has 31,000 full- and part-time students and offers 61 bachelor’s and 42 master’s degrees as well as 28 education credential programs. Founded in 1958, CSUN is among the largest single-campus universities in the nation and the only four-year public university in the San Fernando Valley. The university serves as the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Valley and beyond.