Bay Area Philanthropist Awarded Honorary Doctorate


Philanthropist Norman L. Traeger was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for his lifetime of philanthropic efforts during commencement ceremonies at Prescott College in Arizona yesterday afternoon.

Best known as the founder of United Skates of America, a chain of family fun centers, and The Discovery Group, a venture capital firm, Mr. Traeger currently owns and manages industrial, commercial and office real estate. He served on the Prescott College Board of Trustees for four years, shepherding the College through difficult times and leaving a lasting legacy of effective and responsible governance.

Mr. Traeger has built a resume of unstinting and relentless volunteerism that extends far beyond the benefits he brought to Prescott College. Philanthropically, Mr. Traeger has focused the majority of his efforts in support of the Jewish community nationally and in particular communities across the country, including the San Francisco area.

From 2005 to present he has been a board member and primary fundraiser for the San Francisco Jewish Foundation. From 2004 to 2008 Mr. Traeger served as member of the San Francisco Jewish Endowment Board. From 2002 to 2008, as a member of the Board of Directors of American Jewish World Services, he helped to quintuple their annual fundraising from $5 million to $25 million.

Additionally, Mr. Traeger and his wife, Carol, personally funded a program through the Knowledge is Power Program for at risk students K-6.

“The range and depth of his efforts on behalf of those less fortunate or on whom fortune sometimes has not smiled speaks for itself,” said Prescott College President, Kristin R. Woolever. “If society and our culture need examples of the sense of community that must pervade for us all to prosper, then the public recognition of the people who best exemplify those traits is a necessary and laudable part of our efforts.”