Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees

William E. Leonard
  • William E. Leonard
William E. Leonard

Transportation Expert, Businessman, Consultant

California State University, San Bernardino

In 1946, William E. Leonard joined Leonard Realty and Building Co., a firm established by his grandfather in 1905. By the early 1960s, he was a leading developer and a founding director of Inland Action, Inc., a group of business, government and education leaders whose positive effect continues in the region to this day. Cal State San Bernardino is also active in that organization.

Over the years, Mr. Leonard's civic influence has included chairing the California Highway Commission (1973-77) and the California Transportation Commission (1985-93). He was active with the National Orange Show, serving as its president in 1966. He was also a member of the State Athletic Commission and the University of California at Riverside Foundation. He also chaired the San Bernardino Valley College Foundation Board and served as a trustee of the St. Bernardine's Hospital Foundation, in addition to work on many other local boards and charities.

An investment and business consultant in recent years, he has been active with the Inland Valley Development Authority's work to convert the former Norton Air Force Base to a technology park and other private uses. A veteran of World War II, he served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater, achieving the rank of First Lieutenant. He later received his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley.

In view of Mr. Leonard's long interest and influence in regional and state transportation issues, the state of California honored him in 1998 by naming the interchange at the I-15 and Route 210 freeways the "William E. Leonard Interchange." In the same vein, California State University, San Bernardino, honored him and his wife in 2006 by naming the university's new federally funded center the "William and Barbara Leonard University Transportation Center."

Mr. Leonard has been a great supporter of scholarship aid, both through the First Presbyterian Church of San Bernardino and CSUSB. He was a great supporter of this university even before it existed. In fact, he was one of the principal community leaders who advocated creation of a state college to be located in San Bernardino.

In recognition of his many accomplishments and contributions to this community, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, San Bernardino are proud to confer upon William E. Leonard the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.