CCA to Confer Honorary Doctorate on Physicist Amory Lovins at 106th Commencement Exercises

Amory Lovins to receive honorary doctorate from CCA

Amory Lovins, one of the world's leading innovators in energy and sustainability, will be recognized by California College of the Arts (CCA) with an honorary doctorate degree at its 106th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 18, at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco.

Lovins will deliver the commencement address to 527 CCA graduates and their families. He will also be honored at a private lunch the day before and participate in the post-commencement reception at the college's San Francisco campus.

Read the 106th commencement address »

CCA President Stephen Beal commented, "It may seem unusual that a school of the arts would be honoring a world-renowned physicist, but given the CCA community's commitment to sustainability and innovation in the fields of art, architecture, and design, Amory Lovins makes perfect sense as our commencement speaker. We're looking forward to a compelling and inspiring speech."

About Amory Lovins

When asked for a self-description to accompany his name in the CCA commencement program, Lovins wrote: "integrative designer of super-efficient vehicles, buildings, and factories." It barely begins to sum up his amazing career, but it may explain his interest in speaking to art and design students.

A MacArthur and Ashoka Fellow, Lovins is among the world's leading innovators in energy and its links with resources, security, development, and environment. He has advised the energy and other industries, as well as the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, for more than three decades.

Awards and Accolades

Lovins's work in more than 50 countries has been recognized by the "Alternative Nobel," Blue Planet, Volvo, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, Goff Smith, and Mitchell prizes; the Benjamin Franklin and Happold Medals; 11 honorary doctorate degrees; honorary membership in the American Institute of Architects; Foreign Membership in the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences; honorary Senior Fellowship in the Design Futures Council; and the Heinz, Lindbergh, Jean Meyer, Time Hero of the Planet, Time International Hero of the Environment, Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Leadership, National Design (Design Mind), and World Technology awards.

Top Global Innovator

A Harvard and Oxford dropout and former Oxford don, Lovins has briefed 20 heads of state, and he advises major firms and governments worldwide, including the leadership of Coca-Cola, Deutsche Bank, Ford, Holcim, Interface, and Wal-Mart. In 2009, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Foreign Policy named him one of the 100 top global thinkers.

Founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute

Lovins is cofounder and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), an independent, market-oriented, entrepreneurial, nonprofit, nonpartisan "think-and-do tank" that creates "abundance by design." Much of its groundbreaking work on advanced resource productivity and innovative business strategies is synthesized in Natural Capitalism (1999, with Paul Hawken and L. H. Lovins).

This intellectual capital provides most of RMI's revenue through private-sector consulting. It has served or been invited by more than 80 Fortune 500 firms, lately redesigning more than $30 billion worth of facilities in 29 sectors.

RMI spun off ESOURCE in 1992, and then in 1999, Fiberforge Corporation. The latter is a composites technology firm that Lovins chaired until 2007; its technology, when matured and scaled, will permit cost-effective manufacturing of the ultralight-hybrid Hypercar vehicles he invented in 1991.

Noted Publications

Among Lovins's 29 books are Small Is Profitable: The Hidden Economic Benefits of Making Electrical Resources the Right Size (2002), an Economist book of the year blending financial economics with electrical engineering, and the Pentagon-cosponsored Winning the Oil Endgame (2004), a roadmap for eliminating U.S. oil use by the 2040s.

His most recent visiting academic chair was in spring 2007 as MAP/Ming Professor in Stanford's School of Engineering, where he taught the university's first course on advanced energy efficiency.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) offers 21 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs in the areas of fine arts, architecture, design, and writing. The college offers BFA, BA, MFA, MA, MBA, BArch, MArch, and MAAD degrees. It has campuses in San Francisco and Oakland, and currently enrolls 1,900 full-time students. CCA students are encouraged to work in an interdisciplinary manner, undertaking projects and collaborations with students in other majors and engaging with outside communities.

Noted alumni include the artists Nathan Oliveira, Jules de Balincourt, Robert Arneson, Robert Bechtle, Viola Frey, and Peter Voulkos; the Oscar-winning filmmaker Audrey Marrs; the illustrator Tomie de Paola; the conceptual artists Harrell Fletcher, David Ireland, and Dennis Oppenheim; and the designers Lucille Tenazas, Michael Vanderbyl, and Gary Hutton. For more information about CCA, visit

For more information about CCA's 2013 commencement exercises, please call the college's Student Affairs Office at 510.594.3666.