Donors Give More Than $160,000 for Humboldt State Scholarships at Fundraiser

Donors gave more than $160,000 to support Humboldt State University students at a fundraiser last night. Money raised goes directly to HSU student scholarships and programs.

At an event sponsored by the Humboldt State University Foundation, HSU alumna Ana Cortes (left) and HSU students Benicio Benevides-Garb (center) and Jesse Bowling (right) shared how scholarships supported their college dreams.

Sponsored by the Humboldt State University Foundation, the event at the Ingomar Club capped off the Investiture celebration formally welcoming HSU President Tom Jackson, Jr., who began his tenure last June.

“Tonight is really about the students that we serve,” Jackson said at the fundraiser, stressing the impact of scholarships on student success. “So I thank everyone in here tonight for your willingness to support our students throughout the North Coast.”

About 200 people attended the dinner, including HSU students and alumni, community members, California State University Chancellor Timothy White, four CSU presidents (including CSU Bakersfield President and Humboldt State alumna Lynnette Zelezny) and former HSU President Rollin Richmond.

Guests made gifts to student scholarships and programs throughout the evening. One of those scholarships is the Humboldt First Scholarship. Created in October, these funds will provide all first-time freshmen who have graduated from HSU’s local service area a renewable, automatic scholarship of $1,000 per year.

Local HSU students and alumni who have benefited from the generosity of donors spoke about how scholarships impacted them.

History major Jesse Bowling said scholarships are helping him achieve his dream to return to his alma mater, Eureka High School, as a history teacher. “I want to give back to the high school that gave to me,” he said.

Manolo Morales (‘05, Political Science), who now chairs the HSU Foundation Board, spoke of his own experience. The scholarship he received when he was at HSU helped him buy his first suit, which changed the trajectory of his life. He said, “without that ability to dress professionally, … without that scholarship, I don’t think I would be here today.”

Special guests included recently retired Humboldt Women’s Rowing Coach Robin Meiggs and her husband Scott Heller. In November, they made a $250,000 gift to create the Robin A. Meiggs Rowing Scholarship Endowment.

Donor and HSU alumnus Dan Phillips, who is now the Chief Technology Officer at the online streaming service Hulu, was also on hand. Last fall, he and his wife Cindy created the Dan & Cindy Phillips Fortuna Scholarship to support Fortuna High School graduates who go on to attend HSU.

To give to student scholarships and programs, please contact the HSU Foundation at (707) 826-5200 or