Cal Poly to hand out 2 honorary degrees

nwilson@thetribunenews.comJune 5, 2014 

A pioneer in the produce industry and a former Cal Poly baseball star will both be awarded honorary doctorate degrees during Cal Poly’s two commencement ceremonies June 14 and 15 at Spanos Stadium.

Frieda Rapoport Caplan founded Produce Specialties Inc., now Frieda’s Inc., in 1962.

Caplan, 90, introduced exotic produce such as kiwi fruit to supermarkets, changing the way Americans eat. She still works daily at the company now owned and managed by her daughters.

She will receive an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters at the June 14 ceremony.

The other recipient is Robin Baggett — a Hall of Fame catcher with Cal Poly’s baseball program who graduated in 1973 with a business degree. He went on to earn a law degree from University of California’s Hastings College of the Law and clerked for Justice William Clark of the California Supreme Court.

Baggett was a partner in the San Luis Obispo firm Sinsheimer, Schielbelhut & Baggett for 25 years. He owns Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo and is a dedicated donor to Cal Poly.

He will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the June 15 commencement.

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