Department of Economics

Francis Economic Award

The Department of Economics offers the Francis Award to a continuing Economics major. This award carries a minimum of $1000 which is split between semesters. The department encourages all students who are Economics majors and will be returning for the academic year to apply for the Francis award.

Professor Francis joined the Economic Department in 1967, a year before Professor John G. Smale, the first economist at Chico State, retired. There were 3 other professors hired at the same time, but only Professor Francis stayed more than 5 years. The University grew rapidly in the 1970’s from about 6,000 to 12,000.

In the late 1970’s Professor Francis was department chair. “My first trip to California was in May of 1978, and the chair, Gary, picked me up at the Chico Airport in his Porsche. I thought that the faculty must be well paid at Chico State,” according to Professor Frederica Shockley. "A few years later Gary invited the department over for a party at his house, and as we walked to the front door we could see his shiny, red Ferrari sitting inside his house behind the sliding glass doors."

“I was pondering whether to return for my 5th year of FERP and decided I would, but the salary would go for the award. I wanted to help students in their senior year” Professor Francis explained when asked why he endowed the scholarship in his name.

Professor Francis retired in 2006. “The best thing about retirement for me is that I only follow self-generated schedules. My tastes haven't changed much. I didn't know it at the time, but I started collecting auto books in the early 1950s. I now have about 3000. I also have 2000 model cars and an occasional full size collector car. I still read in economics, British history and whatever else strikes me as interesting. I travel a bit and do a little woodworking - bookshelves, of course- along with home repair” Professor Francis stated recently in an email.

In addition to his hobbies Professor Francis has 4 children, 9 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild and another great grandchild on the way to enjoy in his retirement.

Francis Economic Award criteria:

  • Must be a full time student
  • Continuing student –becoming Junior or completing senior year
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Financial need
  • Having received no other award/scholarship that year