Where Goldy meets the Golden Gate
By Cynthia Scott
At about 7,000 strong, a vibrant University of Minnesota alumni community lives in the Bay Area of northern California—and the Bay Area Chapter of the Alumni Association is where they connect. Count on the usual social gatherings such as game watch parties, happy hours, and bike rides, to name a few, but the chapter also founded an endowed scholarship that helps send California students to the U.
In 1998, then-chapter President Grant Erickson (B.E.E. ’96, M.S.E. ’98) began thinking about establishing a scholarship based on need and merit for California high school students who wanted to attend the University of Minnesota. “The board and I started developing for the fund in earnest in about 2003,” he says. All then-current board members made seed commitments, and donations came from key area alumni and local corporations with an alumni connection. Additionally, profits from chapter events went toward the fund.
Chapter members continued fundraising for the next 10 years, and in January 2013 a $3,000 donation from a single alumnus took the fund over the $25,000 target. To date, two students have received scholarships: Nikki Kyllonen from El Sobrante, who is majoring in computer science with a minor in astrophysics, and Jason Chen from Dublin, a mechanical engineering major.