Chico State University announced today they received a $2 million check from the Bell Family Presidential Scholarship Endowment, the largest in the schools 126 year history.
The new scholarships are named in honor of the Bell family, which ranched in Butte County dating back to 1875. Dan Giustina, managing general partner of Giustina Resources, an Oregon-based timer products company, was close friends with Tom Bell who managed the Bell Ranch and ranched more than 16,000 acres in California and Oregon until he passed away in 1987.
The check was handed over to University President Paul Zingg by Giustina this morning at a 10 a.m. news conference at the Meriam Library on campus. Giustina is also the former president and chairman of the University of Oregon Foundation.
According to Chico State’s press release, the Bell Presidential Scholarships will be available to students in Chico State’s College of Agriculture. Two new students next year and up to four each subsequent year will be awarded $5,000 per year as Bell Presidential Scholars. The college anticipates having up to 16 scholarships recipients at any given time.
“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.
Students who apply to be Bell Presidential Scholars must have strong academic backgrounds and a commitment to agriculture as well as demonstrate a history of leadership and service. Chico State’s College of Agriculture, one of only four CSU Ag colleges in the state, has seen its enrollment double since 2006.