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Wells Fargo Establishes Major Student Scholarship Program at UC Merced

June 13, 2002
$1 Million Fund Will Benefit San Joaquin Valley High School Graduates and Community College Transfer Students to UC Merced

Merced, CA — Continuing a tradition of support for higher education that stretches back to the founding of the University of California in 1868, The Wells Fargo Foundation will establish a $1 million scholarship fund to support San Joaquin Valley students entering the University of California, Merced, it was announced today.

The scholarship fund will provide financial support for high school graduates and community college junior transfer students entering UC Merced, which is the 10th campus of the UC system. UC Merced is expected to open in fall 2004 with an initial 1,000 students. The campus will in subsequent years and decades grow to be a vibrant campus for 25,000 students and approximately 6,000 faculty and staff.

“Scholarship funds are critical to attracting the very best students,” said UC Merced Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey. “We are deeply grateful to Wells Fargo for this gift. The students of the San Joaquin Valley are very interested in having the option of attending the new Merced campus, and this scholarship endowment will help us enormously.”

“The opportunity to attend UC Merced is the opportunity to transform the life of a student,” said, Executive Vice President and Commercial Banking Division Manager JoAnn Bertges. “Wells Fargo believes that the establishment of this scholarship endowment will not only add to the intellectual growth of the San Joaquin Valley, but also to the economic stability of the region through helping to create skilled graduates.”

Each scholarship will amount to $1,000 annually, with recipients being selected based on academic merit and demonstrated financial need. Students must live in the San Joaquin Valley, and special consideration for the scholarship will be given to students who represent the first generation in their families to attend college.

Wells Fargo & the Founding of the University of California

Wells Fargo has been involved with the University of California since the creation of the University in 1868. Wells Fargo agent Felix Tracy of Sacramento served on a board appointed by the State Legislature to secure a site for the first campus in Alameda County.

“Wells Fargo agent Felix Tracy helped select the site for UC Berkeley, which is now known as one of the finest universities in the world,” said Well's Fargo's Bertges. “It is indeed fitting that the company is now part of the creation of the newest UC campus in Merced.”

Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $312 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance from more than 5,400 stores and the internet [] across North America and elsewhere internationally. The company's Central California Region has a total of 89 store locations and 1,150 employees.

In addition to its main location, the Merced campus will utilize digital technology to create an educational network that serves students and communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley. The University currently operates educational centers in Bakersfield, Fresno, and Merced. Another center is planned for Modesto.

UC Merced currently employs approximately 90 educators and professionals.