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Honorary Degrees

Through honorary degrees, Excelsior College recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the development and welfare of not only the College, but society.

Doctor of Humane letters (honoris causa)

Dr. Robert E. Kinsinger

Consultant, National Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
Vice President (Ret.), W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Trustee Emeritus, Excelsior College

Robert E. Kinsinger, EdD, is a former vice president of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. He was also a member of the board of directors of Jossey-Bass Inc. and chair of the board of trustees and executive committee of The Fielding Institute. He is currently a consultant for the national Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). Throughout his professional career, Dr. Kinsinger has concentrated on activities involving educational planning for higher education, lifelong learning, alternative learning lifestyles, and education for the allied health professions.

While completing his doctoral degree at Teachers College, Columbia University in the 1950s, he began working with Dr. Mildred Montag, whose own groundbreaking research had posited the associate degree in nursing as the entry to the field of registered nursing. Kinsinger joined her in the eye of the storm, promoting associate degree nursing around the country. Following his work at Columbia, and with a strong reputation in the field, he held a number of consulting positions on community colleges and associate degree nursing. New York State was at the heart of the revolution in nursing, and he worked extensively with the State Education Department (SED) to shape the new associate degree in nursing (ADN).

Kinsinger’s friendship with Dr. Montag, and his relationships with individuals at SED, gave him awareness of the Regents External Degree Program (later known as Regents College and then Excelsior College) and its desire to develop an associate degree program in nursing. His experience with associate degree in nursing programming and his work with the National League for Nursing made him a natural ally. He became deeply involved in the program’s funding proposal to the Kellogg Foundation and made the initial grant award to fund development of the new associate degree in nursing program. Based upon the success of the first award, Kellogg funded the establishment of the Regents’ Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

In 1983, Kinsinger retired to California to follow his passion for hot air ballooning, but he has kept close ties with the College ever since. He was the unanimous first choice to serve on and chair the College’s Board of Overseers, and when the College became an independent institution, he became one of the first five trustees of the newly chartered Regents College in 1998. His continued service on the Excelsior College Board of Trustees allowed him to participate in the further growth of the Institution with online courses and services, noncredit programs, and additional student supports. Reaching the limit for service on the Board, Kinsinger was named a trustee emeritus, a position he will hold for life.

Kinsinger has numerous professional journal articles to his credit, has served as an educational consultant to the National League for Nursing, and directed health-related curriculum programs for The University of the State of New York. He is also listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.

He earned a Doctor of Education degree from Columbia University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Stanford University. His ballooning hobby has taken him over some of the most well-known geological and historical landmarks in the world including the Great Wall of China and Mount Pinatubo. In addition, he is a trustee of the Sierra Repertory Theatre and was named California Tree Farmer of the Year in 2007 for his work supporting sustainable forestry.


Dr. Robert E. Kinsinger
Dr. Robert E. Kinsinger

Doctor of Humane letters (honoris causa)

Dr. Carrie B. Lenburg

President, Creative Learning and Assessment, Inc.

Carrie B. Lenburg, EdD, RN, FAAN, has a passion for nursing education and an understanding of the need for alternate paths toward nursing degrees, which she channeled into the Excelsior (then Regents) College nursing programs in its formative years. Dr. Lenburg was appointed Coordinator of Regents External Degrees in Nursing in 1974 and served in that position until 1990. Although she was not the first coordinator,
it was her work that brought the program to fruition.

Dr. Lenburg’s efforts to expand opportunities for educational access gave birth to the performance assessment model that is now the basis for Excelsior’s associate degree in nursing program. Relentless in her support for nursing education that would serve adult learners already grounded in nursing practice, she helped to make it a reality. With her ingenuity and commitment, she ensured that tens of thousands of nurses could achieve their dreams and meet societal needs. During Lenburg’s leadership, she faced substantial opposition from many quarters of the nursing profession. Her passionate defense of the program was no doubt responsible for its ability to thrive and develop into the School of Nursing that exists today.

After she left the College, her efforts were even more pronounced as she pursued her beliefs through countless organizations and institutions with the establishment of a consulting firm, Creative Learning and Assessment, Inc., to bring about further change in nursing education. A major outcome of her work was the development of the Competency Outcomes and Performance Assessment Model (COPA), which has been used all over the world. She has assisted many organizations and programs in using her COPA model to improve outcome-based learning and assessment, including the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Uniformed Services University Graduate Nursing Program, Spalding University, University of Memphis, New York University, and Galen College.

Lenburg has received many honors: an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Spalding University, a Distinguished Alumni Award from Case Western Reserve University, New York State Nurses Association Award in Nursing Education, and the Linda Richards Award for Nursing Education from the National League for Nursing. She was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing, Teachers College, Columbia University Nursing Hall of Fame, and NLN’s Academy of Nursing Education. Recent publications include chapters in Nursing & Healthcare Perspectives, Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Cherry and Jacob’s Contemporary Nursing: Issues, Trends & Management, and Cohen and Cesta’s Nursing Case Management as well as many journal articles. Lenburg has been a consultant to the USAF Surgeon General and represented nursing at the White House Summit, "Promoting 21st Century Skills for 21st Century Jobs." She continues to promote Excelsior in her published writings and professional appearances.

Lenburg earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Western Reserve University and a doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia University.


Dr. Carrie B. Lenburg
Dr. Carrie B. Lenburg