Richard "Rich" and Virginia "Ginnie" Hunsaker address a packed house including President Ralph Kuncl and Nancy Kuncl (left) in the Memorial Chapel.
University of Redlands Homecoming and Parents' Weekend 2014 was one to remember, as it was announced during a special event inside the Memorial Chapel that Richard "Rich" and Virginia "Ginnie" Hunsaker, both members of the Class of 1952, have donated the largest single gift in University of Redlands history: $35 million.
The money will be used to establish a scholarship program for incoming College of Arts & Sciences students. President Ralph Kuncl announced the gift to a capacity audience of more than 1,200 students, faculty, and alumni Saturday afternoon.
"This is a transformational gift that will allow us to keep a Redlands education affordable for deserving and talented students," Kuncl said. "Rich and Ginnie Hunsaker have made a profound impact on the University-and more importantly-on the world, through the lives and work of future graduates."
The Richard and Virginia Hunsaker Scholarship Prize will recognize and support students who possess leadership skills and are active in the community. The award is highly competitive, and goes beyond traditional scholarship programs to meet each recipient's full demonstrated financial need for all four years at Redlands, while also providing support in securing internships and research opportunities within their fields of study. Up to 40 students per year will benefit from this gift.
The Hunsaker Scholarship Prize is designed to attract excellent students from diverse backgrounds who have historically considered Redlands, but ended up choosing different schools for primarily financial reasons. The College of Arts and Sciences' admissions team will identify applicants from a cross-section of socio-economic backgrounds with common links-exceptional young men and women who have the ability to positively affect the academic and extracurricular experience at the University. These candidates will then come to campus to compete for the award, interviewing with a panel of faculty and alumni leaders. The goal is for the recipients to follow in the footsteps of Rich and Ginnie Hunsaker by turning their on-campus educational experience into lifelong leadership in their respective communities and within the Redlands alumni family.
"Ginnie and I believe wholeheartedly in the power of higher education to shape the leaders of tomorrow because of the impact the University of Redlands had on both of our lives," Rich Hunsaker said. "Our hope is that this gift will enable our alma mater to have the same impact on a new generation of talented students."
The Hunsakers attended the University of Redlands from 1948 until 1952, with Rich earning a degree in history and Ginnie a degree in education. Ginnie taught kindergarten following her graduation, and Rich made a career in real estate as a founder of Hunsaker Management, Inc., which currently manages a portfolio of 3-million square feet of industrial and commercial properties in Southern California.
The Hunsakers have been instrumental in the growth of the University as an institution and as a community. This gift brings the Hunsakers' lifetime University of Redlands support to nearly $75 million. Prior to Saturday's announcement, the Hunsakers had given a total of $40 million to the University to support facility upgrades, such as the Hunsaker University Center; four endowed chairs, including the Hunsaker Chair of Management; and many other projects that addressed the University's most pressing needs.
Ginnie served for nine years on the University's Board of Trustees and Rich served for 28, including 15 years as chairman. Both were chairs of the $100 million Centennial Campaign. The couple reside in Corona del Mar, California, and have four children and several grandchildren.