June 7, 2016

Contact: Jay Thompson

Cal Poly to Award Four Honorary Doctorates at June 11 Commencement Ceremony

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong will award honorary doctorate degrees to a pair of accomplished alumni as well as the man who helped develop the Universal Price Code and the president of a Costa Rican college that Cal Poly faculty and administrators helped launch a quarter century ago.

The individuals will receive the honors at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 11, during the commencement ceremony for the colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and Science & Mathematics.

The awardees are: Charles L. “Chuck” Harrington, chairman, CEO and president of Parsons Corp., Paul McEnroe, who helped give the world the now ubiquitous UPC bar code; his wife, Tina Hansen McEnroe, a Santa Barbara County educator; and José Zaglul, president of EARTH University in Costa Rica.

• Chuck Harrington has worked for Parsons Corp. since 1981, the year he graduated from Cal Poly with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering. He oversees the Pasadena, Calif.-based global engineering, construction and defense services firm that has more than 15,000 employees and has revenues exceeding $3 billion.

Harrington also received an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and is a graduate of the Duke University Fuqua School Advanced Management Program.

Upon joining Parsons, he worked on diverse programs in locations, from Saudi Arabia to the North Slope of Alaska, and in a broad range of markets from oil and gas to nuclear fuel reprocessing and telecommunications. In 2006, he was named executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, and two years later was selected CEO and chairman of Parsons. He was appointed president of the corporation in 2009.

Harrington serves on the boards of AES Corp. and the J.G. Boswell Co. He also serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Business-Higher Education Forum and the California Science Center Foundation Board of Trustees.

Harrington is a longtime member of the Cal Poly President's Council of Advisors, serving as chairman for the past five years. He is a founding member of the Loyal Order of Propeller Heads in the College of Engineering and the Learn by Doing Fund in the university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. His wife, Diane, received her bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture at Cal Poly in 1981 and a master’s degree in agricultural education in 1982.

• José Zaglul has been a longtime partner with Cal Poly. His college, EARTH (la Escuela de Agricultura de la Region Tropica Humida) University was established in 1989 by Costa Rica as a private, nonprofit, international university with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Cal Poly faculty and administrators were instrumental in developing the school’s initial concept and, in 1988, Cal Poly was selected as lead institution that helped develop the school and its curriculum.

Classes began in 1990, and for the past 26 years EARTH University has prepared students from Latin America, the Caribbean and other regions, including Africa and Asia, to contribute to the sustainable development of their countries and construct a prosperous and just society.

Cal Poly conducted a search for EARTH University’s first leader. In Zaglul, they found a visionary who was the architect, administrator, cheerleader and fundraiser who put together a well-respected program that serves not only Costa Rica but other countries in the humid tropics — an area with a combined population exceeding 2 billion that includes a region about half of the Americas, nearly a third of Africa and a quarter of Asia.

In a 2015 resolution honoring the Costa Rican university, President Armstrong said “EARTH applies the Learn by Doing teaching philosophy to empower promising young leaders from economically underprivileged communities.

“The friendship and partnership between EARTH and Cal Poly continues to this day,” he said.

• Paul McEnroe has served as a member of the Cal Poly President's Council of Advisors for 30 years. He has multiple electrical engineering degrees, a bachelor’s from the University of Dayton and a master’s earned at Purdue University. He also received the degree of Engineer with special distinction in business administration from Stanford University.

In 1960, McEnroe joined IBM as an engineer in a variety of technology and systems projects focusing on electronic scanning. One noteworthy project started in 1969, when he was named development manager of a new business venture for the company. As the head of IBM’s Point of Sale Products for supermarkets and retail stores, he assembled a team, contributed technically, and led the group that created the Universal Product Code now simply known as the bar code. The UPC was adopted by the industry in April 1973 — transforming bar codes from a technological curiosity into a business juggernaut.

In 1984, he became president of Trilogy, a wafer scale technology-based mainframe computer company. At Trilogy, he developed copper-polyimide multi-chip module technology. After merging the company with Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) and delivering the technology, he retired and began a new career in ranching. Today, he enjoys his lifelong dream of ranching, managing and just being a cowboy on Rancho La Purisima, a commercial horse breeding and cattle ranch he and his wife own in Santa Ynez Valley.

McEnroe has been president of the Santa Barbara County Cattlemen’s Association, state director of the California Cattlemen’s Association, director of the Land Trust of Santa Barbara County, a trustee of St. John’s Seminary College and director of the Vandenberg Western Commercial Space Center.

• Tina Hansen McEnroe was the 2008 Distinguished Alumna from Cal Poly’s School of Education. She earned a bachelor’s degree from USC and a master’s from UCSB. She also holds a teaching credential and three other specialist credentials, two of which she earned at Cal Poly in special education.

She has worked for two decades as a reading specialist and special education teacher. During this time, she developed methods to help children become better readers and to assist parents in becoming better support systems for their children.

Hansen McEnroe’s numerous awards include the USDA’s National Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture, California’s Outstanding Educator of the Year from the California Foundations for Agriculture in the Classroom, Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau’s GAATE Foundation Teacher Hall of Fame, Santa Barbara County Outstanding Educator, Junior League of Santa Barbara Woman of the Year, and the Distinguished Alumna from Santa Catalina School in Monterey.

She and her husband, Paul, co-founded the McEnroe Reading and Language Arts Clinic at UCSB, a state-of-the-art research and teaching institute that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math disciplines.  She is working with Cal Poly to establish a second reading lab to serve the community’s challenged learners in need of language arts. Future planned Cal Poly alliances include a partnership with the Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center.

Former Secretary of Defense and Central Coast Congressman Leon Panetta will address the colleges of Engineering and Architecture & Environmental Design at 9 a.m. June 11 and at 4 p.m. to the colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and Science & Mathematics.

Margaret Fortune, the leader of a network of charter schools in Northern and Southern California will address the College of Liberal Arts and Orfalea College of Business at 9 a.m. June 12. All ceremonies will take place in Alex G. Spanos Stadium on campus.

More than 4,200 graduates are eligible to take part in commencement June 11 and 12. For more information, visit

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