Father Joe Carroll

SAN DIEGO–Father Joe’s Villages President Emeritus, Father Joe Carroll, was honored Friday for his legacy of compassion for people experiencing homelessness.

San Diego State University awarded four honorary degrees at its 2019 commencement ceremony recognizing individuals who have served the university, the San Diego community and the nation. Father Joe Carroll, President Emeritus of Father Joe’s Villages, was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his lifelong dedication to the underserved communities of San Diego.

In 1982, Father Joe took the helm of St. Vincent de Paul Center, then a small center supported by a thrift store. Within five years, Father Joe opened a $12 million facility known as the Joan Kroc Center. Fulfilling Father Joe’s vision of a one-stop shop for those in need, the non-profit bearing his name houses more than 2,000 people every night and provides a comprehensive network of services. His commitment to the people of San Diego has improved the lives of tens of thousands of people. In 2018 alone, Father Joe’s Villages provided services and support to more than 14,500 neighbors in need.

“Father Joe built the Village on the belief that we are all simply neighbors helping neighbors,” says Deacon Jim Vargas, who took over as President and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages in 2015. “Each of Father Joe’s Villages’ staff members, volunteers, and donors carries forward the legacy of compassion that is recognized through this honorary degree.”

Although he retired in 2011, as President Emeritus, Father Joe continues to lend a hand in the community with deep care and compassion for their neighbors in need. For his profound work, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San Diego State University proudly conferred upon Father Joe the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters at their commencement ceremony.