$2M gift for ag students

Sep 6, 2013
by WLJ

California State University, Chico announced the largest scholarship gift in the history of the University, the Bell Family Presidential Scholarship Endowment, in the last week of August.

Dan Giustina, managing general partner of Giustina Resources, an Oregon-based timber products company, and former president and chairman of the University of Oregon Foundation, presented a $2 million check to CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg to establish the endowment.

The Bell Presidential Scholarships will be available to students in CSU, Chico’s College of Agriculture. Two new students next year, and up to four in each subsequent year, will receive $5,000 per year as Bell Presidential Scholars. The college will have up to 16 scholarship recipients at any given time.

“I hope the Bell Family Presidential Scholarship Endowment will bring the best and brightest agriculture students in California to Chico State,” said Giustina. “Our higher education system is the envy of the world, and student scholarships play an important part in maintaining that level of excellence.”

“Chico State has a long and important history with ranchers and farmers in the North State,” said College of Agriculture Dean Jennifer Ryder Fox, noting that Tom Bell’s Aunt Ada attended the university in 1889, only two years after its founding. “We have deep roots and a bright future, made even brighter by Dan Giustina’s wonderful gift.”

Giustina was the recipient of the University of Oregon Presidential Medal in 2007 for “long-standing and extraordinary support” for UO, where he received his bachelor’s degree and MBA. He was a main donor to Oregon’s Ford Alumni Center, which opened in 2009.

“Dan Giustina is one of the leading philanthropists in the West supporting excellence in higher education,” said Zingg. “The fact that he has chosen to start this new scholarship fund speaks to his exceptional generosity and to his identifying Chico State as a leader in California higher education.”

CSU, Chico’s College of Agriculture, one of only four CSU ag colleges in the state, has seen its enrollment double since 2006. Students can receive hands-on experience at the 800-acre University Farm, which boasts a USDA-inspected meat processing plant, an Irrigation Training Facility and the first university-based organic dairy on the West Coast. — WLJ