California State University, San Bernardino announced today that Ellen G. Weisser will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at its Spring Commencement, scheduled for May 18. Weisser is a philanthropist and long-time supporter of CSUSB. One of CSUSB’s most notable graduates, she has been named the 2024 CSUSB Distinguished Alumna.

Born in New York, Weisser moved with her family to San Bernardino in second grade. She taught for 10 years and was principal for two, leaving teaching in 1980 for her family’s pharmacy business. In 1995, Weisser and her husband, Stan, merged their pharmacies with eight others and formed Network Pharmaceuticals Inc. They grew the company to 30 locations and sold it in 2000.

Weisser is a tireless advocate for CSUSB’s students and the university. She currently serves as the honorary co-chair of “Our Defining Moment,” the $200 million blended campaign launched in 2022. She is a founding member of the CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation Board and served as board chair for 15 years. She is currently on the foundation’s investment committee. She is also the immediate past president of the College of Arts and Letters Community Leaders Board and is active in the Golden Grad Alumni program.

A strong supporter of performing arts at CSUSB, she established the Ellen Weisser Endowed Theatre Showcase, the first named sponsorship in the department of theatre arts. She currently serves as chair of the theater campaign to raise $10 million for the program. The Weissers’ substantial gift to the forthcoming $125 million-plus performing arts center has led to the naming of the Ellen and Stan Weisser Performing Arts Foyer.

Weisser is fully engaged in the community, and in 2017, she was named the Redlands Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year. She was instrumental in founding The Grove School, an innovative Montessori institution, and served on its board. She served as an appointed trustee with the San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association for 24 years, San Bernardino County Grand Jury, Redlands YWCA Board, Children’s Fund Board, Bonnes Meres Auxiliary to Children’s Fund and currently continues serving on the board of Family Service Association of Redlands. For over two decades, she has proudly served on the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Inmate Welfare Committee.

“I love this university,” said Weisser of Cal State San Bernardino. “The students here are so inspiring. They are achieving incredible things with their lives. And the faculty here is second to none. It has truly been the honor of a lifetime to be able to support all that CSUSB has done and continues to do in this corner of Southern California. I am beyond grateful for this recognition. You can definitely call me Coyote proud!”

“Conferring an honorary doctorate upon Ellen, a CSUSB-er through and through, in recognition of her profound impact and dedicated service to the betterment of our university, the City of Redlands, as well as San Bernardino County, would be a great honor for CSUSB,” said university President Tomás D. Morales. “Her decades-long dedication to our university and our students has been second to none.”

Weisser attended UCLA, UCR and earned her undergraduate degree in 1968 as part of CSUSB’s second graduating class, receiving academic honors in English. She also attended graduate school at CSUSB for her teaching credential, and subsequently, she attended the University of Redlands for school administration.