On April 26, California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) President Willie J. Hagan hosted his final Presidential Scholars Benefit, an elegant gathering of scholars and their families, university officials, college deans, and supporters that celebrates the academic achievements of those awarded the university’s most prestigious distinction, that of Presidential Scholar.
Hosted on campus in the StubHub Center’s Stadium Club, the benefit provides corporations and individuals who support the scholarship program an opportunity to meet the Presidential Scholars and learn about the goals and aspirations of these accomplished student leaders and ambassadors of Cal State Dominguez Hills. Corporate sponsors recognized during the 2018 Presidential Scholars Benefit included “Diamond” level sponsor the StubHub Center, and “Platinum” level sponsors the Watson Land Company and Kaiser Permanente.
Since its inception in 1985, the Presidential Scholars program has awarded more than 174 merit-based scholarships to freshmen and transfer students, representing the best and brightest graduates from the region’s high schools and community colleges. The scholars are selected for the program through a juried application process. Those selected receive full payment of in-state fees, an allowance of books and supplies, a lap-top computer, complimentary parking permits, as well as support and guidance while they are students at CSUDH. In return, Presidential Scholars must show evidence of high academic achievement, leadership skills, and community involvement.
At the benefit reception, nine graduating Presidential Scholars were recognized and presented with special Presidential Scholars medallions to wear during commencement.
Rafael Torres, Jr.
“I am so thankful for the privilege and opportunity that Cal State Dominguez Hills and all the donors have provided me. My most memorable Cal State Dominguez Hills experience has been being a part of this Presidential Scholarship program. Everyone from the president and the administration, to the staff and the people who I am in the program with have been wonderful and I will never forget them. I promise to remember this experience and carry on the Toro name with pride.”
“My most memorable time here was Halloween week during my first semester. In the 1910 lounge the English professors were reading “Fall of the House of Usher,” Emily Dickenson, and we were dressed in costume. I thought to myself that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.”
“This scholarship has definitely proven that if you put in that hard work you will be rewarded. The best advice I could give to a new student would be to be really close to your professors and your advisers. Meet with them often, and just enjoy this ride. My most memorable time I’ve had here at Cal State Dominguez Hills was the day I found out I got this scholarship. It was definitely a crybaby moment and I couldn’t believe it.”
“I’m so thankful for the wonderful faculty I’ve been able to interact with–from technical advice, to career guidance, to research help. Even if it’s just to sit and debate the finer points of sociological theory, I’ve always had great access to my wonderful faculty. The best advice I can give to new students is make everything work for you. All your clubs, and organizations, and classes, and extracurricular activities. Surround yourself with people and organizations that are concerned with your growth and your welfare.”
“My next step is to obtain a job after I graduate to further build experience within my field. The best advice I can give to new students is to never be afraid to ask questions or to seek help. After graduation, I promise to stay focused on my career goals and to give back to my community in whatever way I can. “
“This scholarship has enabled me to not only pursue higher education, but also learn about life outside the classroom, meet new people, and seek to gain experience in the real world. The best advice I could give would be to start networking early. Try to get connected and build relationships with your professors. My most memorable experience here at Cal State Dominguez Hills was playing on the women’s soccer team. From travel trips to game days, it was overall an amazing experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”
“My most memorable experience at this university was attending the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities conference. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone, challenged me to grow, and helped me make a lot of new friends. After college, I promise to make a difference and remain eager and passionate. ”
“This scholarhip gave me the opportunity to get back to school. I promise to proudly represent Cal State Dominguez Hills with the utmost professionalism. I will continue my education, gain the knowledge and skills to help others, and help make this world we live in a better place for all.”
“This scholarship has allowed me to pursue my goal of achieving a higher education, and attending the presidential scholarship benefit was my most memorable experience at CSUDH. The best advice I could give to a new student would be to stay focused and know that this is only temporary. You’ll get through it.”