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Donors and Scholars Connect


Donors and Scholarship Recipients Share Their Personal Stories

Nearly 500 people, both donors and scholarship recipients, gathered in the Highlander Union Building to celebrate these individual success stories -- representing $6 million in scholarship funds awarded over the past two years at the University

(May 10, 2010)

Donors Ida and Rodney Moore with scholarship recipient Devonna Gaitlin (at center). Photo credit: Carlos PumaEnlarge

Donors Ida and Rodney Moore with scholarship recipient Devonna Gaitlin (at center). Photo credit: Carlos Puma

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- They wore sneakers and heels, t-shirts and ties. And there was both laughter and tears as they found each other in the crowd.

Nearly 500 people, both donors and scholarship recipients, gathered in the Highlander Union Building to celebrate individual student success stories -- representing $6 million in scholarship funds awarded over the past two years at the University of California, Riverside.

“Students got to know the donors better and hear their inspiring life stories, and donors had a chance to visit with 'their' prodigy, and learn of their academic progress and personal aspirations,” said Chancellor Timothy P. White, who welcomed donors and students to the event along with Vice Chancellor for Advancement Peter Hayashida.

Pat Zaharopoulos, a 1966 UCR graduate of political science and a campus donor, talked about her immigrant parents, who valued education and instilled a sense of purpose in their children. She ended up as a deputy attorney general for California, arguing many cases in front of the California Supreme Court. In her parents’ honor, she established a scholarship called the Nick and Christina Zaharopoulos Endowed Student Award Fund.

Ryan Pedigo, who has been supported by the Ernst A. Noltmann scholarship and the Rosemary Schraer Award, talked about his gratitude for the opportunity he had to earn his bachelor’s degree and go on to complete his second year of medical education at the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences.

“It is hard to find the words that adequately express to Mrs. Noltmann how grateful I am to be given the opportunity to serve my community with the assistance of this scholarship,” Pedigo said. “She is a partner in my accomplishments.”

Donors Ida and Rodney Moore traveled from the Bay area of Northern California just to meet their scholar, Devonna Gaitlin. She is one in a long series of chemistry undergraduates at UCR who have received The Karin Moore-Gandolfo Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Moores established the fund in 1986 in memory of their daughter, a UCR alumna who majored in chemistry at UCR.

The event celebrated donors and recipients of alumni, and endowed scholarships, funded with private money. The event also celebrated the most prestigious of the state-funded scholarships, called Chancellors and Regents scholarships.

The $6 million in scholarships represented at the event is only a small portion of the state support and scholarship money available to students attending UC Riverside.
Chancellor White welcomes nearly 500 people, both donors and scholarship recipients, who gathered in the Highlander Union Building to celebrate these individual success stories -- representing $6 million in scholarship funds awarded over the past two years at the University of California, Riverside. Photo credit: Carlos PumaEnlarge

Chancellor White welcomes nearly 500 people, both donors and scholarship recipients, who gathered in the Highlander Union Building to celebrate these individual success stories -- representing $6 million in scholarship funds awarded over the past two years at the University of California, Riverside. Photo credit: Carlos Puma

Pat Zaharopoulos, a 1966 UCR graduate of political science and a campus donor, talked about her immigrant parents, who valued education and instilled a sense of purpose in their children. UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White leaves the stage. Photo credit: Carlos Puma.Enlarge

Pat Zaharopoulos, a 1966 UCR graduate of political science and a campus donor, talked about her immigrant parents, who valued education and instilled a sense of purpose in their children. UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White leaves the stage. Photo credit: Carlos Puma.

Musical entertainment was part of the evening. Photo credit: Carlos Puma.Enlarge

Musical entertainment was part of the evening. Photo credit: Carlos Puma.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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