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SBC Pacific Bell Donates $100,000 to UC Merced to Create Engineering Scholarship Endowment

October 24, 2001

The University of California, Merced today announced that SBC Pacific Bell has donated $100,000 to fund scholarships for high-achieving undergraduate and graduate engineering students at UC Merced

Expected to open in 2004, UC Merced has already begun attracting top engineering faculty to its campus, most recently hiring two renowned engineering professors to senior positions. The scholarship, which will be known as the SBC Pacific Bell Scholarship, will help bring high-achieving engineering students to UC Merced who reflect the diverse demographics of the surrounding region.

We are very pleased to accept this generous donation from SBC Pacific Bell, said Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, chancellor of UC Merced. It is the commitment by important businesses in our community, like SBC Pacific Bell, that will help make it possible for our university to attract top-notch scholars and students.

The donation for the SBC Pacific Bell Scholarship will be established as an endowment. Income from the endowment will provide funding for the scholarships in perpetuity, and recipients of the scholarship will be known as SBC Pacific Bell Scholars.

SBC Pacific Bell has always made supporting the community one of its top priorities, said State Senator Dick Monteith. I commend them for supporting UC Merced and its vision for our valley.

I can't think of a better way for SBC Pacific Bell to support our community than through education, said Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza. And what better way to accomplish this than with a scholarship that helps deserving students?

The UC Merced campus will use digital technology to create an educational network that serves students and communities throughout the Central Valley. The campus will play an integral role in improving the educational attainment of Valley students, and the SBC Pacific Bell Scholarship will enable UC Merced to offer financial assistance to help students achieve their educational goals.

SBC Pacific Bell has always believed in supporting the communities where our employees live and work, said Loretta Walker, Pacific Bells vice president for external affairs. One of the ways we do this is by giving back to the people we serve. We are pleased to be able to create the SBC Pacific Bell Scholarship and to be a partner of the new UC Merced campus.

Recent hires in senior administration at UC Merced included two noted engineering professors: David Ashley, former dean of the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University began service July 1, 2001 as Executive Vice Chancellor of UC Merced. Jeff Wright, former associate dean of Engineering at Purdue University, was named Dean of the Division of Engineering at UC Merced; he began his service on September 1, 2001.

UC Merced currently employs approximately 85 educators and professionals. The University's main campus in Merced is being planned, and is expected to open in fall 2004 to serve 1,000 students. The campus will grow over coming decades to serve 25,000 students. UC Merced contributes to educational access through the entire San Joaquin region via special educational and outreach centers in Fresno and Bakersfield, and through the Tri-College Center in Merced. A new UC Merced center is expected to open in Modesto in 2002.

SBC Pacific Bell will present the $100,000 check to UC Merced at the annual UC Merced dinner tonight beginning at 6:00 p.m. Location: Merced County Fairgrounds Pavilion.