Community Advocate Receives Honorary Doctorate

by University Relations

In honor of Inez Gutierrez’s leadership, compassion, and integrity, and on behalf of the Azusa Pacific University Board of Trustees, President Jon R. Wallace, DBA, bestowed upon her an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree at the university’s summer commencement held July 26, 2014. Gutierrez’s propensity for service spans more than three decades, including as a member of the Azusa Unified School District (AUSD) Board of Trustees, a member of the Parent Teacher Association, a founding member of one of Head Start’s most successful chapters, and a religious education teacher at St. Frances of Rome.

Yet she points to the January 1991 inauguration of past APU President Richard Felix, Ph.D., as the pivotal point in her career. Asked to present the new president with an official charge from the community, Gutierrez boldly challenged the university to step up its involvement with the city of Azusa. Her charge inspired Felix to make community engagement a hallmark of APU. Gutierrez’s passion for people continues to drive APU’s signature commitment to the community and inspire Wallace as he leads the university as a light unto the city of Azusa. “Inez Gutierrez exemplifies our beloved city,” said Wallace.

“She reveals her deep love for the people of Azusa in everything she does, and puts it into action by supporting innovation, promoting problem-solving, and nurturing the spirit of our community with a positive spirit and deep faith.”

Originally published in the Fall '14 issue of APU Life. Download the PDF or view all issues.