Fresno Businessman to Be Awarded Honorary Doctorate

Fresno Businessman to Be Awarded Honorary Doctorate
Don Huntley

Cal Poly Pomona and The California State University will present an honorary doctorate to alumnus Don Huntley of Huntley Moore Farms in Fresno in recognition of his service to the agricultural industry and the university.

The formal conferral will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, during the 2009 commencement exercises for Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Agriculture in the University Quad.

A highly successful farmer, businessman and avid art collector, Huntley graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 1960 with a degree in animal husbandry.

“Don Huntley is an inspiration,” said university President Michael Ortiz. “After receiving his degree at Cal Poly Pomona, he went on to an incredibly successful career, but has remained committed to helping future students and supporting research that is crucial to the future of agriculture in California.”

After graduation, Huntley’s background in biology and chemistry, combined with a thesis on a particular blood disease in cattle, brought him to the San Joaquin Valley, where he joined American Cyanamid Corp. in animal health sales. Huntley entered into permanent tree crops in 1966 through a partnership. Later, he acquired a real estate license and transitioned into a career specializing in the sale of agricultural and recreational land.

Today, Huntley has some of the richest soils in California. He raises pistachios on 480 acres, with the very best nuts sold through Williams-Sonoma, a leader in the gourmet food market. Another 140 acres are planted with cherries.

Huntley has been tremendously supportive of the university, donating eight paintings from his fine art collection and providing funding for research initiatives in the colleges of Science and Agriculture.

Also receiving an honorary doctorate in June will be Richard N. Frank, chairman of Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. His degree will be conferred at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 14, during the 2009 commencement exercises for Cal Poly Pomona’s Collins College of Hospitality Management in the University Quad.

Huntley and Frank join an extraordinary group of individuals who have been awarded an honorary doctorate at Cal Poly Pomona, including Andrew Cherng (2008), Stuart Sperber (2007), Jack Dangermond (2005), Julia Child (2000), W.K. Kellogg (1998), Charles Oliver (1996), Charles Voorhis (1995), Norman Williamson (1995), W. Keith Kellogg (1994), Michi Nishiura Weglyn (1993), James Collins (1992), Russell Mawby (1989) and Emory Morris (1969).