CSU, Chico News

Current and Past Recipients Will Be Honored at 30th Rawlins Merit Awards Ceremony

Date: 10-06-2011

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Daria Booth
University Advancement,
Scholarship Coordinator

Eighteen California State University, Chico students with major achievements in the classroom and community will be honored Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the 30th annual Rawlins Merit Award Reception at 4 p.m. The ceremony will be held in Colusa Hall, immediately behind Kendall Hall, and a reception will follow.

This special celebration is part of The Chico Experience Week Oct. 7–16. For more information on TCEW events, visit http://www.csuchico.edu/chicoexperience/index.shtml.

In addition to the current winners, several past winners of the award have been invited to help celebrate 30 years of the scholarship program. Vern Andrews, Ph.D., who received the award in 1982 and now teaches in CSU, Chico’s College of Business, will deliver a message about how the scholarship helped him continue his education.

"As a young man arriving in Chico from Oakland in 1976, I was lost and out of place on a university campus,” said Andrews. “But by the time I left for Hewlett-Packard Company after master's study in 1983, I had won the Rawlins Award and the Glenn Kendall Public Service Award, both for having successfully navigated the many social and cultural differences we all have to face, as well as academic achievement. I was aided by many CSU, Chico faculty mentors, campus staff, collegiate friends and the local African American community. Struggle and success can be their own reward, but outside acknowledgement offers a different kind of award. The Rawlins Award was crucial in propelling me to the next level, which was to obtain a Ph.D. from the top sociology program in America at the University of Wisconsin-Madison."

Another past recipient, Anne Reith, said, “I can honestly say that receiving the Rawlins Award changed my life… [It] allowed me to continue my education at Chico State. I completed my bachelor’s in psychology in 1982 and my master’s in psychology 1987. Due to the excellent education I received at Chico, I was able to gain admission to a Ph.D. program in clinical psychology at the University of California at Santa Barbara and complete my doctorate in 1993. I was licensed as a psychologist the next year.”

This prestigious award is named in honor of Lt. Robert Merton Rawlins, who died piloting a B-29 over Tokyo Bay during World War II. Mrs. Fern Rawlins had three sons who served in WW II, and one, Robert, who did not return. Wishing to leave a legacy in the name of her son, she established the Lieutenant Robert Merton Rawlins Merit Award endowment in 1981 to honor him.

Including this year’s awards, more than $1 million in scholarships has gone to 905 CSU, Chico students. Each award-winner receives $3,000.

The Rawlins Merit Award is one of the largest and oldest scholarship programs in the history of the University.

Faculty members nominate students. Recipients are selected on the basis of scholarship, involvement in extracurricular activities, and professionally related and academic accomplishments.