Cal Poly Vice President for Student Affairs Receives CSU’s Wang Family Excellence Award

Keith Humphrey honored for work supporting campus community and CSU System
Keith HumphreySAN LUIS OBISPO — The California State University (CSU) has honored Cal Poly Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey with the Wang Family Excellence Award. Chancellor Joseph I. Castro will present Humphrey with the award in the Outstanding Staff Award category at the CSU Board of Trustees’ Jan. 25 meeting, along with four additional CSU faculty recipients.
The award, established in 1998 by CSU Trustee Stanley T. Wang and his family, recognizes one CSU administrator and four faculty members each year for their exemplary achievements and contributions to the CSU. The recognition includes a one-time award of $20,000.
As part of the award nomination process, Humphrey was lauded for his student-focused leadership, care and service throughout his nine years as Cal Poly’s vice president for Student Affairs.

“Keith’s strong leadership and student-centered approach have helped grow and enhance our Student Affairs offerings tremendously,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “His work has laid the foundation for programming and support services that will continue to positively impact our students’ Cal Poly experience for many years to come, and I am thrilled to see the CSU recognize his impact.”
Specifically, the nomination cited Humphrey’s efforts in helping to keep the campus operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which included housing more than 4,000 student on campus and supporting more than 7,000 students participating in in-person classes, research, and other activities during the 2020-21 academic year.
“My goal from Day One has been to help create an equitable, socially just, and supportive campus community that allows every student to thrive,” Humphrey said. “Receiving this award is a true honor, because it recognizes what I enjoy most in my role — championing our students and providing them an amazing experience throughout their journey.
“This award is also a recognition of the educational role of Student Affairs in facilitating student success and the amazing team members in Cal Poly Student Affairs who work diligently to help make the out-of-class experience at Cal Poly a hallmark of a student’s educational experience.”

The nomination also highlighted Humphrey’s efforts to support students in need and, in turn, the university’s Graduation Initiative 2025 strategy, by establishing the Cal Poly Cares Program. Initially founded prior to the 2015-16 academic year through contributions from every member of the Cal Poly Foundation Board of Directors, Cal Poly Cares has since provided more than $1.7 million in emergency grants to 1,500 students struggling with financial and housing needs.
Humphrey was also recognized for leading the establishment of the Cal Poly Food Pantry, which has provided more than 180,000 meals to nearly 9,000 food-insecure students since 2014, and for securing multiple gifts totaling $2 million from the Tanklage family to establish the Tanklage Family Fund to End Homelessness. The fund has already provided $180,000 in student housing support over the past three years. 
In total, Humphrey’s efforts to support student basic needs have resulted in $6.5 million in donor support.
Among many other accolades, Humphrey was also recognized for his work in advancing Cal Poly’s campus climate by leading the establishment of several cultural centers and affinity programs to serve Cal Poly’s diverse student body, including the Dream Center, the Center for Military Connected Students, the Men and Masculinities Program, the Native American and Indigenous Cultural Center, and the forthcoming LatinX Cultural Center.
This year marks the fifth straight that a Cal Poly employee has been among the CSU’s five recipients of the annual Wang Awards. The previous four Cal Poly recipients are:
- Aydin Nazmi, Professor of Food Science and Nutrition and Presidential Faculty Fellow for COVID-19 Response and Preparedness, 2021 Outstanding Faculty Service Award;
- Brian Self, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, 2020 Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award;
- Thomas Fowler, IV, Professor of Architecture and Director of Graduate Architecture Program, 2019 Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award;
- Suzanne Phelan, Professor of Kinesiology and Director of the STRIDE Center for Obesity Research, 2018 Outstanding Faculty Scholarship Award.
For more information on the CSU’s Wang Family Excellence Awards, visit

Contact: Diego Abeloos

Jan. 24, 2022

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