Presidential Scholarship Reception Celebrates Academic Excellence, Community Support
The annual President’s Scholarship Reception was held on April 29 in the newly opened South Wing of the University Library at California State University, Dominguez Hills. The event celebrated the achievements and community support of the 2009-2010 Presidential Scholars cohort of 24 students representing a wide range of disciplines.
Greg Saks, vice president of University Advancement, served as master of ceremonies, introducing numerous guests from the local and state community, including Assemblymember Warren Furutani (D-55th Dist.), who welcomed the assembled guests to the new library wing – which doubled the size of the facility – that was completely paid for by voter-approved bond initiatives in the face of state budget cuts to higher education.
“We could [provide] the education needed in a Quonset hut,” said Furutani. “But when you can put it in this type of environment and provide the needed resources and [teaching] talent, what you have as a result is not only a student that is prepared for the 21st century, but a student that is prepared to take Cal State Dominguez Hills to be included in the forefront of leadership of the world.”
Student musicians provided entertainment for the reception. Featured performances included the duo of keyboardist and vocalist Kevin O’Neal (Class of ’90) and vocalist and actor Patrice Quinn, and a saxophone quartet of music students Josue Aguilar, senior; Yusef Andrews, junior; Aldo Martinez, senior; and Christian Rosales, senior.
President Mildred García welcomed guests to the university, noting that it was the university’s official Founders Day, and shared highlights such as the university’s record enrollment of more than 15,000 students, and that more than $140,000 had been raised in scholarships at CSU Dominguez Hills in the last year, which resulted in doubling the number of Presidential Scholars.
Presidential Scholar Nikki Lystne, who will graduate with her Bachelor of Arts in English/language and linguistics, addressed guests and donors on behalf of the cohort.
“Just having people who not only believe in me but expect more of me is an incredibly motivating force,” Lystne said. “I want you to know that your contributions are so much more than just a charitable donation. They are truly a gift that can change people’s lives.”
García urged the audience to return to the university for upcoming 50th Anniversary events throughout the next several months through May 2011.
“Even in tough times, it is important to take a step back, take advantage of the opportunity, and congratulate everyone at Cal State Dominguez Hills, and in our community, for the success we have at this university and the impact that we have throughout the entire South Bay,” said García.
Other honorees of the evening included the recipient of the Katherine B. Loker Friend of Education Award, Maureen McCarthey, a longtime supporter of scholarships for teacher education at CSU Dominguez Hills, and The Carson Companies and the Watson Land Company, recipients of the Corporate Partner of Education Award.
Robert Huston, chairman of the Watson Land Company, accepted the Corporate Partner of Education Award on behalf of the corporation and the descendants of the family of Manuel Dominguez, a Californio statesman and rancher upon whose original 75,000 acre land grant the university now stands.
“Being a direct descendant of the Dominguez family, I’m honored to receive this award,” he said. “We are proud to have the university bear the family name. We are proud to have partnered with you and we look forward to partnering with you for another 50 years.”
The President’s Scholarship Reception was sponsored by Northrop Grumman, The Carson Companies, Watson Land Company, Boeing, Schools Federal Credit Union, Shell Oil Products, Southern California Edison, Verizon, Alpert & Alpert Iron & Metal, American Honda Motor Car Co., Inc., California Water Service Company, the City of Carson City Council, the CSU Dominguez Hills Alumni Association, Healthcare Partners Medical Group, The Home Depot Center, the Maureen P. McCarthey Foundation, Sempra Energy, Gilbert and Shirley Smith, the South Bay Workforce Investment Board, Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company, Toyota Motor Sales, Virco, Norman Epstein, The Honorable Helen S. Kawagoe, and the Milken Family Foundation.
For more information on scholarships at CSU Dominguez Hills, click here.
- Joanie Harmon
Photo above: The 2009-10 Presidential Scholars with President Mildred García (front row, third from left)
L-R, back row: Doc Wha Yoon, liberal studies; Raquel Tallud, clinical sciences; Ashley Clark, liberal
studies/mathematics; Patrick Fuertes, medical technology; Desmond Smith, history/Africana studies;
Darwin Thomas, business management'
L-R, front row: Nikki Lystne, English/language and linguistics; Kristi Medearis, molecular biology;
García ; Dana Watson-Sherrod, public administration; Sara M., biology; and Charmane Smith,
Photo by GK