Public Affairs

Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award Honors Inspirational Student Scholars

Scholars, professor and alumnus Bill Griffeth to join the
CSU's 50th Anniversary Celebration

(September 15, 2011) –The California State University Board of Trustees has selected 23 students, one from each campus in the system, to receive the 2011-2012 William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement.  The trustees will honor the scholars on Sept. 20 at the CSU Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach, California.

The Hearst/CSU Trustees' award is among the highest forms of recognition for student achievement in the CSU.  The students receiving the awards have all demonstrated inspirational resolve along the path to college success.  Barriers faced by this year’s recipients include parental loss, abandonment, poverty, homelessness, disease, addiction, mental health disorders, human trafficking and prejudice.  Many of the scholars are also the first in their families to attend college, and some learned English late in life. 

"I have learned that any stress or difficulty in my life will both pass and make me a stronger and better human being," said Ryan Grady, a CSU Northridge graduate student and Trustee Emeritus Ali C. Razi scholar.  Grady overcame teen drug and alcohol abuse, in addition to confronting an HIV diagnosis, to earn both his associate's and bachelor's degrees.  He is now pursuing a master's in Social Work in order to work with underserved individuals with mental illness.

"Sometimes it is easy to think of the future as a straight path, but looking back I am most fond of the lessons learned through the many curves along the way," said Chryste Lunyé Johnson, a Humboldt State graduate student and Hearst/CSU Trustees' recipient, in a blog post for CSU Voices and Views.  In the blog, Johnson describes the circuitous route that took her from an impoverished Los Angeles neighborhood to Humboldt State and the wealth of perspective she has gained in working with the underserved, elderly and disabled of Humboldt County.

As Grady and Johnson exemplify, Hearst/CSU Trustees' student scholars have overcome significant challenges to demonstrate superior academic performance, exemplary community service and significant personal achievements.  Achievements of the students span a wide range of service activities.  Examples include providing youth advising and motivation; helping to build transitional housing and hospital facilities; providing food and services for the homeless; supporting shelters for women and children; and providing care to both adults and children with disabilities.

Learn more about our scholars’ amazing stories of achievement and perseverance.

About the 50th Anniversary Celebration
This year, the Hearst/CSU Trustees' award ceremony will also be part of a larger 50th Anniversary Celebration of the CSU.  The celebration will feature LaTangia Oliver, a CSU Dominguez Hills graduate student and Hearst/CSU Trustees’ recipient.  Oliver's childhood was marked by parental drug addiction and family upheaval.  She persevered in the face of these challenges to earn a bachelor's degree and enlist in the Army National Guard.  She is now pursuing her master's degree as a prelude to law school and a career as a judge advocate general officer.

Bill Griffeth will join Oliver as a speaker for the celebration.  Griffeth is a nationally respected financial journalist and the co-anchor of CNBC's "Closing Bell."  Griffeth received his bachelor’s in Journalism in 1980 from CSU Northridge.  In 2000, CSUN honored him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Associate Professor Gretchen LeBuhn will also address the trustees and public audience.  LeBuhn, a biology faculty member at San Francisco State, is the director of "The Great Sunflower Project" which has engaged nearly 100,000 "citizen scientists" across the country to gather much needed data on wild bees.

About the scholarship
The William Randolph Hearst Foundation originally established the endowed scholarship fund in 1984.  In 1999, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation partnered with the CSU Board of Trustees to supplement the endowment with contributions from CSU Trustees and private donors.  From this endowment, the trustees award $3,000 to students who exemplify the scholarship criteria.

Ali C. Razi, CSU trustee emeritus, later endowed a scholarship fund to recognize the top scoring Hearst/Trustees' award recipients.  This year, there are two Trustee Ali C. Razi scholars, each receiving $10,000.

Murray L. Galinson, CSU trustee emeritus and former board chair, also endowed a scholarship fund to recognize Hearst scholars who best exemplifies extraordinary public service to their community.  This year, there are two Trustee Murray L. Galinson scholars, each receiving $6,000.

William Hauck, CSU trustee, has endowed a new scholarship fund for the scholar selected from San José State.  The Trustee William Hauck scholar will receive a $1,000 award in addition to the $3,000 Hearst/CSU Trustees' scholarship.

Ronald R. Barhorst, chair of the CSU Foundation Board of Governors, has funded an inaugural effort of the CSU Foundation board to enhance the Hearst/CSU Trustees' award.  As a result, a student exemplifying both academic achievement and community service was selected as the CSU Foundation Board of Governors' scholar.  The scholar will receive $6,000.

About the program
What: Presentation of the Hearst/CSU Trustees' Awards for Outstanding Achievement
Where: Dumke Auditorium, 401 Golden Shore, Long Beach CA
When: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, at 2:30 pm (50th Anniversary Celebration begins at 1:00 pm)

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 412,000 students and 43,000 faculty and staff.  The CSU awards about 90,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.6 million.  Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces.  The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of the people of California.  With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.

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