Hunsaker Scholarship Prize

Investing in Tomorrow's Leaders

The Richard and Virginia Hunsaker Scholarship Prize is awarded annually to a select number of exceptional incoming students from diverse backgrounds.

The highly competitive award meets each recipient’s full demonstrated financial need for all four years at Redlands. It also offers the opportunity to participate in an expenses-paid networking trip to a major metropolitan city where Scholars meet with alumni leaders in a variety of fields.

Each year, our admissions committee identifies students during the application review process who exhibit outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and contribution to their schools and communities. Candidates are then invited to campus to compete for the award, interviewing with a panel of faculty and alumni leaders.

Alumni couple Richard and Virginia Hunsaker, class of 1952, established the Hunsaker Scholarship Prize in 2014 with their transformational gift of $35 million to the University of Redlands. The scholarship program aims to fund a Redlands education for students who will not only become leaders in society, but also will follow the Hunsakers’ example by giving back to their communities and the University.

2019 Hunsaker Scholars

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Lavern Clerk '23

Hometown: Redlands, California
High School: Redlands East Valley High School

Lavern Clerk was born and raised in Redlands but she has a global mindset. As a member of her high school’s Compact Club, an organization that aims to create a link between students and the local business community, Clerk launched a book drive to benefit schools in Ghana. After successfully collecting books from friends, family, students, and her high school library, she sent them to schools in need and founded the Lavern Clerk Book Foundation. Clerk also spent time working as an intern for the Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa (HACSA) in Ghana, where she helped organize fundraisers and other events. She has been named a Rotary Student of the Month and received the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award. Clerk plans to study global business at the University of Redlands in order to position herself for a role at the United States Embassy in Ghana.

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Ari Garcia '23

Hometown: North Hollywood, California
High School: Oakwood School

Ari Garcia is a proud first-generation, queer and gender-fluid human with a strong passion for social justice and visual arts. Ari’s passion stems from their leadership work done through their high school’s Latinx affinity group, running workshops advocating for diversity and inclusion on campus, and being team captain of their cross country and track and field team. Ari aspires to integrate their passions into a teaching career that will empower the next generation of activists and leaders in their immigrant community in Los Angeles. Ari is very excited to contribute their vision to the University of Redlands community.

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Briar Meszaros ’23

Hometown: Meeker, Colorado
High School: Meeker High School

Briar Meszaros chases every opportunity and loves serving her community. In high school, she held many leadership roles in student government, cross country, National Honor Society, Future Farmers of America, and more. She also gave her time to several nonprofit organizations, including Rocky Mountain Youth Corps for environmental conservation, HopeWest for children’s grief services, and the Meeker Chamber of Commerce for community outreach. Briar intends to continue to engage her passion for giving back in the future as she is working toward the opportunity of dedicating her life to serving others worldwide by joining a major humanitarian organization after graduating with a degree in public policy.

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Quynh Nguyen ’23

Hometown: Hanoi, Vietnam
High School: International School of Vietnam

Considering having helped others succeed her true greatest achievement, Quynh Nguyen has been actively involved in the Model United Nations (MUN) community in her home country of  Vietnam. Quynh used her MUN experience to help the organization achieve its goals of advancing members’ skills and knowledge, as well as connecting and building the Vietnamese MUN community. Quynh also re-established and transformed the MUN club at her high school. As the club’s president, she helped her fellow members grow from beginner level to being able to win awards of their own. Quynh was also chosen to be a member of the student council at her high school for one term and a speaker for the school’s first TEDx event. Having lived in different countries with differing belief systems, Quynh is a firm believer of cultural and religious tolerance and hopes to contribute to the promotion of diversity at the University of Redlands. 

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Nick Paesler ’23

Hometown: Portland, Oregon
High School: Cleveland High School

Nick Paesler is as social- and leadership-oriented as a college student can be. At his high school in Portland, Oregon, he served on the Associated Student Body (ASB) all four years, was a founding member of Oregon Student Voice, a statewide non-profit organization to elevate student opinion in schools, and served as the student representative for the Portland Public Schools District Board of Education. University of Redlands was the first campus Nick visited and he knew from its spirited student body, multitudes of clubs, and proximity to Palm Springs, that it would become the university to further his education. He plans to study business management and become involved in the Associated Students of University of Redlands (ASUR) Social Affairs Committee. Nick looks forward to living in and exploring Southern California, learning about its business opportunities, and making University of Redlands an even more exciting place to be.

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Moises Salazar ’23 

Hometown: Tustin, California
High School: Tustin High School

Moises Salazar has a passion for serving those around him and bettering his community. While in high school, Moises was involved in Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization that helps build homes for families. In addition to his community involvement, Moises was a member of his high school basketball team and Free Chapel Youth Group, a group of religious students focused on promoting relationship development within their community. As a member of Free Chapel Youth Group, he would aid in local can food drives which provided three meals a day to those less fortunate. As a first-generation college student, Moises is eager to improve the community at the University of the Redlands, while pursuing a career in business administration.