Humboldt State University

HSU’s First Presidential Scholarship Recipient Graduates

When HSU seniors graduated last month, many of those crossing the stage in Redwood Bowl had achieved the milestone with support from a donor-funded scholarship or award. Among them was Biology major Everett Heath, the first recipient of the Mary & Foster Keller Scholarship.

The scholarship is HSU’s first-ever Presidential Scholarship, created by a contribution of $100,000 to support one student for four years. Endowments are permanently invested funds that generate income every year. Established in 2012, the Mary & Foster Keller Scholarship endowment yields an annual award of $4,000 per student recipient, which means it can cover half the cost of tuition during a student’s time at Humboldt State.

Everett Heath

The scholarship, which Everett received in 2015, allowed him to focus on his major’s demanding coursework. “The Mary and Foster Keller Scholarship has benefited me a lot the past few years. I first received this scholarship during a rough time in my life and it helped me get back on my feet, allowing me to focus on school rather than taking more hours at a job,” says Everett.

Donor Jennifer Keller established the Mary & Foster Keller Scholarship to honor her parents and support the work of talented, deserving students in pursuit of higher education. “Both my parents attended public universities. And they loved HSU! They would drive to Arcata from their little house in Trinidad full of anticipation for the lectures, plays, musical events, and theater they could enjoy there.” Jennifer says they often commented that HSU was an engine of culture, innovation, and opportunity.” 

The Mary & Foster Keller Scholarship has helped propel Everett toward a future career in biotechnology. “I plan to look for a job in Humboldt, but I’m also considering some biotech firms in the Bay Area. I want to build my experience. My dream is to become an astrobiologist and study biological material from the stars,” he says.

Helping students like Everett is a profound way for Jennifer to honor her parents’ legacy. “Nothing would make my parents happier than to know that someone as talented as Everett had benefited from a scholarship named for them, so he could pursue his dreams,” she says. “As a donor, it’s immensely satisfying to be able to provide Everett with some of the support that I enjoyed when California more fully subsidized its great universities. I look forward to seeing all he will achieve, and hope he can play a role in saving our planet!”

Awards like the Mary & Foster Keller Scholarship help students stay here, succeed, and experience the excitement of graduating with an HSU degree. There are many options for supporting student scholarships at HSU. You can learn more about scholarships at loyalty.humboldt.edu/areas-support, or make a contribution to the HSU Student Success Scholarship on our Giving page.

Let us show you how easy it is to make a difference in the life of a student. For more information visit loyalty.humboldt.edu, email the Office of Philanthropy at giving@humboldt.edu, or call 707-826-5200.