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Business Leader and AlumnusTo Be Honored at 47th Commencement
James D. Woods will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

April 28, 2006 :: No. 230

Chairman emeritus, consultant, board director and Cal State Fullerton alumnus James D. Woods carries a lot of titles. Come May 28, the former CEO of Baker Hughes Inc. will have another. He will be awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters in recognition of his success as a business leader and philanthropist.

The honorary degree will be presented to Woods as part of the university's 47th annual commencement festivities. More than 8,700 — including nearly 2,000 January graduates — are eligible to participate in the ceremonies to be held Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28.

"It's always great to be able to honor the success of one of our own who has had a distinguished career in the local, as well as national, business community," said Cal State Fullerton President Milton A. Gordon, "and who has been a very strong supporter of the campus for more than 20 years. Jim certainly deserves the honorary doctorate and will be one of our most distinguished honorary degree recipients."

Woods (B.A. business administration '67) is among a group of early Cal State Fullerton graduates who began their careers while attending the university. He enrolled at CSUF in 1960 — the first year classes were offered on the permanent campus — attending night classes while working at Baker International. He moved up the corporate ladder at Baker, becoming president, chief operating officer and director in 1985.

In 1987, Woods became CEO and presided over the merger of Baker International and Hughes Tool Co., described as two giants in the oil-service industry. He was voted chairman of the board for Baker Hughes Inc. in 1989 and a year later, acted to acquire Eastman Christensen and ChemLink. He retired in 1997 and has since been named to a number of corporate boards.

"My career wouldn't have been possible without the CSU system," noted Woods. "It paved the way. I am truly indebted."

"Jim Woods is a highly successful businessman who created a million-dollar company through his efforts. In addition, he is very generous, both with the university and the college, as well as public charities," said Anil Puri, dean of Cal State Fullerton's College of Business and Economics, noting "Jim is a very successful businessman who has highly ethical standards and leadership."

An avid sports fan, Woods, has been a major contributor to Titan athletics, as well as to several youth athletic programs, and has served as president of the Titan Athletic Foundation and campaign co-chair for the Titan Sports Complex.

Woods, who divides his time between homes in Houston and Laguna Beach, has been a member of Cal State Fullerton's University Advisory Board and President's Associates, and currently serves on the College of Business and Economics Dean's Advisory Board, as well as the cabinet for the $15 million Campaign for the College of Business and Economics.

In 1980, the university's Alumni Association honored him with a Distinguished Alumni Award, and he was recognized anew at the university's 2000 Vision & Visionaries gala.

The honorary doctorate, awarded jointly by the campus and the California State University, is conferred in recognition of excellence and extraordinary achievement in significant areas of human endeavors. Woods is the fourth CSUF alumnus, and second business administration graduate, to be recognized in this manner. He joins Inter-Tel chairman, president and CEO Steven G. Mihaylo (B.A. business administration '69), award-winning mystery novelist Elizabeth George (M.S. counseling '79) and international businessman Gareth C.C. Chang (B.A. mathematics '65), who were honored in 2005, 2004 and 2001, respectively.

Media Contacts:

Anil Puri, dean of the College of Business and Economics, at 657-278-2592
Pamela McLaren, Public Affairs, 657-278-4852 or

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