The Smittcamp Family
A Letter from Earl and Muriel Smittcamp
"Education and hard work set in place the best foundation for career success and lifelong personal well-being. All our lives we have striven to make a difference through whatever challenges we took on—raising a family, creating an agriculture business, working with our fellow agribusiness entrepreneurs, or pursuing our community and university interests. What success we have achieved has come because we sought to master the basics and worked hard building on that foundation. An Honors College should provide students the opportunity and possibility of becoming the best at everything they do—thinking, analyzing, envisioning, understanding, articulating, and, of course, doing. We felt the best honors college experience should be available to all young people in the Central Valley and are pleased to have a part in making it a reality."
--Earl and Muriel Smittcamp
About the Smittcamp Family
The Smittcamp Family Honors College is named in honor of Earl and Muriel Smittcamp and their family, whose initial donation of $1 million provided the foundation for the Honors College in 1997.
Earl Smittcamp, a prominent agribusiness leader, graduated from California State University, Fresno in 1939. Together, he and Muriel, also a Fresno State graduate, co-founded Smittcamp Family Businesses, which provides fresh fruit, fresh-frozen fruit products, and food ingredients for manufacturers throughout North and Central America.
Earl and Muriel have four children, all alumni of Fresno State, and 14 grandchildren. Earl Smittcamp and his family exemplify the leadership excellence, innovative thinking, and personal daring honors graduates strive to achieve.
In addition to their business successes is the Smittcamp family’s deep commitment to supporting the community and the university. In the spirit of such leadership, they became the catalyst for making the university’s long-held dream of an honors college come true.
As they have led the San Joaquin Valley and Central California in applying innovative approaches to the cultivation and processing of produce, they also have nurtured the creation of our innovative Honors College. The Smittcamps exemplify their belief in the principles that education is really dependent upon what one makes of it and that “excellence” is never accepting less than the best from yourself.