George Takei to receive honorary doctorate from Cal State LA

George Takei

George H. Takei, the highly accomplished actor and charismatic champion for the arts, community engagement and social justice, will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters during Cal State LA’s 69th Commencement. He will also deliver the keynote address.

Takei was born and spent part of his childhood in Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights neighborhood near Cal State LA. Best known for playing the character Mr. Sulu on the original, award-winning television series Star Trek, Takei’s onscreen work in film and theatre has spanned more than five decades. He has also dedicated much of his life to civil rights and social justice.

Friday, June 10, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

University Athletics Stadium at the Billie Jean King Sports Complex at Cal State LA. Parking for the media is available in Lot 4 near the Administration building. Proceed to Gate F by the stadium (side entrance near the baseball field) and check in at the media booth. Media will be escorted to a reserved viewing area. Click on the following link for a campus map.  

The event will provide the following visuals:

  • Takei, decked out in cap and gown, receiving his honorary degree and hood from University President William A. Covino.
  • Takei speaking from a stage that will be emblazoned with colorful University banners, as thousands of students and their guests listen inside the packed stadium.

Note: Takei will speak to reporters after the Commencement ceremony.

Takei has more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television guest-star roles to his credit. He boasts more than 9.7 million fans on Facebook, and he has often used the platform to advocate on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. As a child, he and his family were shipped to two internment camps during World War II. He spent most of his childhood at Camp Rohwer, in the swamps of Arkansas, and Camp Tule Lake in northern California.  After returning to Los Angeles, Takei earned a BA and MA in theater from UCLA.

A former board member of the Southern California Rapid Transit District, Takei helped establish the Arts in Transit program that led to each Los Angeles Metro station having its own distinctive artwork. President Bill Clinton appointed Takei to the board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission. In honor of his efforts to improve relationships between the U.S. and Japan, Takei received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, from Emperor Akihito.

Robert Lopez: W: (323) 343-3044; C: (310) 452-0308;
Jocelyn Stewart: W: (323) 343-3049; C: (323) 219-7637;

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Cal State LA is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 27,000 students and 240,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State LA has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit