Disney's Eisner receives honorary doctorate from California State University

MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Company CEO Michael D. Eisner was conferred an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree by the California State University, Northridge (CSUN).

Eisner received his degree during commencement ceremonies for the university's College of Education, which is named in his honor.

"It has been a thrill for me and for my family to be associated with CSUN. There is no more important mission for any society than the education of its youth. It is here that the teachers of the future are being educated, and I'm truly honored to play a role in this process," Eisner said during the ceremony.

In 2003, CSUN -- which trains more teachers than any other public university in California and is nationally known for its innovative programs -- dedicated the Michael D. Eisner College of Education, the first time in its history that the university named a college after an individual.

The Eisner Foundation, founded by Eisner and his wife Jane, awarded CSUN a $7 million grant to establish the college of education's new Center for Teaching and Learning. The Center provides national leadership in preparing teachers to support the educational and emotional needs of all children in the classroom.

CSUN president Jolene Koester conferred the degree on Eisner saying, "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. I am delighted that we are honoring such an extraordinary individual."

Eisner, who has served as The Walt Disney Company's CEO since 1984, received his B.A. in English literature and theater from Denison University. He serves on numerous boards, including the California Institute of the Arts, the American Hospital of Paris Foundation, the Aspen Institute, the UCLA Executive Board for Medical Science, the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and that of his alma mater, Denison University. He is also a member of The Business Council. This is Eisner's first honorary degree.

The Eisner Foundation provides financial support to organisations that undertake innovative and concrete programs designed to enhance and enrich the lives of children who are underserved, or who have learning differences, and their families. The Foundation recognises 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.

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