Grambling State University (GSU) awarded James Colon, vice president of African American Business Strategy at Toyota Motor Sales, Inc., an honorary doctorate degree at its 2014 Spring Commencement ceremony, Friday, May 9. It is the most prestigious degree the historically black university offers.

Grambling State University president Frank G. Pogue, Ph.D., bestows ceremonial regalia to James Colon, vice president of African American Business Strategy for Toyota Motor Sales, at the school’s 2014 spring commencement recently. Colon received an honorary doctorate of laws for his advocacy of African-American participation in the automobile industry.

Grambling recognized Colon for his commitment to diversity in the automobile industry and long-term support of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and the academic achievement of young African Americans. At Toyota, Colon is responsible for engaging Hispanic and African American businesses and media, and optimizing relationships with important external Hispanic and African American groups. Under his leadership, the automaker implemented the Toyota Green Initiative designed to educate and encourage students on HBCUs to live environmentally conscious lifestyles. Nearly 5,000 people have made the Promise Pledge to live green, and 28 HBCUs have participated in the Green Campus Contest.

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