The biggest donation to an alumni association scholarship fund of any California State University was announced on Jan. 26 to the Fresno State Alumni Association. In accordance with the will of William N. Beck, a bequest of $100,000 was made to the Bulldog Pride Scholarship Fund.
Beck, who graduated from Fresno State in 1952 with a degree in business, returned to the campus to attend the Fresno State Alumni Associationâ€™s Top Dog Alumni Award Gala at the Save Mart Center in October 2006. There, he met with Jared Lindo, the Bulldog Pride Scholarship Fundâ€™s first recipient.
He took a special interest not only in Lindo, but in making a difference for all Fresno State students.
â€œHe kind of reminded me of my grandfather, wanting to know what Iâ€™m doing in my life,â€ said Lindo, a junior majoring in civil engineering.
Beck passed away in 2007, but not before bequeathing the generous gift to the fund in his final will.
The Bulldog Pride Scholarship Fund is one of the most recent endowments that Fresno State has to offer. Established in spring 2005, the fund had already accumulated $50,000 before the Beck bequest. With the new donation, it will now be able to grant up to $2,000 to selected students and much more is expected to be available in the future.
Peter Robertson, the director of Annual Giving at Fresno State, was the manager for membership and marketing of the Fresno State Alumni Association when he founded the fund. He said it took a year to raise the $5,000 that was needed to make the fund active as an endowment.
As the earnings for an endowment continue to increase and the money is invested, the annuity provides income and the interest can be presented to selected students as scholarships. Unlike some scholarships, an endowment will stay active as long as the school exists.
Robertson organizes all of the fundraising events on a voluntary basis. The most recent was a concert at the Satellite Student Union this Sunday with a performance by musician Patrick Contreras.
Meanwhile, the alumni association oversees the fund and the scholarship office selects recipients while Merrill Lynch manages the investments.
Robertson said that before all other criteria, they are looking for students who have given back to their community in one way or the other.
â€œWe all can do things for our community,â€ Robertson said. â€œAll the scholars have demonstrated [community pride]. Itâ€™s really nice to see students taking part.â€
Another requirement is good academic standing. Students can apply for the scholarship on bulldogpride.com.
So far, three students have received scholarships under the fund. In addition to Lindo, who was again selected as a recipient for the current school year, seniors Adrian Quintero and Sara Martinez have received $1,000 each. All of them have also donated money back to the fund.
The scholarship may be used to meet whatever needs the student may have such as living expenses and tuition. Lindo said he used his money to buy the several hundred dollars worth of books he needed for school.
According to Quintero, the fundâ€™s scholarship recipient for the current school year, the money was not the only benefit.
â€œThe scholarship has helped me to network. I got to meet great people,â€ said Quintero, who has a double major in criminology and Chicano & Latin American studies.
This year, as much as 1,500 students have already applied for the fund.
While Robertson only has a limited influence in who is selected to receive scholarships, a special committee will make the ultimate decision after reviewing the applications.
Robertson said that possible future increases in tuition â€œshows that there is a need.â€