Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees

Malin Burnham
  • Malin Burnham
Malin Burnham

Businessman and Philanthropist

San Diego State University

Mr. Malin Burnham has long been active as a businessperson in the insurance and real estate fields in San Diego, at the same time contributing as a vibrant philanthropic citizen, embodying the ideals of the California State University. He has served as Chairman of John Burnham & Company Insurance and Burnham Real Estate and has remained involved since 1949. A native San Diegan who graduated from Stanford University in 1949 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, Mr. Burnham has been active as a board member of several major firms.

Currently, he is Chairman of the Board of The Burnham Institute for Medical Research and Chairman of the San Diego Hall of Champions Foundation; and Board Member of the University of California, San Diego Foundation, Rady School of Management and the USS Midway Museum. He has chaired nine major non-profits and has co-founded 14 organizations in his career, most providing direct benefit to San Diego, the state and the nation.

Mr. Burnham has enjoyed a lengthy and dynamic association with San Diego State University. He serves on the Campanile Foundation Board of Directors, College of Business Association Advisory Board and the Director's Cabinet in Athletics. He led the effort to purchase the University House and has been a leadership donor to numerous SDSU academic programs. Mr. Burnham has been awarded many honors, including: Junior Achievement/San Diego Business Hall of Fame; Philanthropist of the Year, National Society of Fund Raising Executives; Civic Entrepreneur of the Year, Economic Development Corporation; and Mr. San Diego, Rotary Club of San Diego.

In the sports world, he has been a world-recognized sailor for five decades and helped San Diego achieve prominence locally and professionally. At age 17, he became the youngest skipper to win a World Championship in the International Star Class. In 1987, he played a leading role in bringing the America’s Cup to San Diego. He is a former partner/owner of the San Diego Padres.

In recognition of these achievements, his outstanding leadership and sincere civic commitment, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San Diego State University are proud to confer on Malin Burnham the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.