Campus: CSU Fresno -- December 20, 2002

'Costa Scholars Program' Created at Fresno State


California State University, Fresno President John D. Welty announced today (Dec. 19) the creation of the "Senator Jim Costa Scholars Program" as part of the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute of Public Affairs at the university.

The program will be supported by proceeds of more than $280,000 generated by a testimonial dinner honoring Costa last August. Approximately 1,100 people, including California's top leaders in government and business, gathered in Fresno to honor Costa, who left the senate after 24 years of public service.

The proceeds represent the largest single gift to the Maddy Institute since the initial $1 million state allocation in 1999 that created the institute to honor Maddy. Maddy was a respected public servant who represented the Valley in the state Senate for nearly three decades. He died in February 2000.

Welty announced the new program at a press conference on the campus attended by Senator Costa.

"The funds will be placed in an endowment to enable future generations of Fresno State students to experience the excitement of the legislative process through internships in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.," said Welty. "Senator Costa's vision is that this program will provide leadership education and instill a commitment to public service for our future leaders."

Like Maddy, Costa is an alumnus of Fresno State. Costa, who earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Fresno State in 1974, traces his interest in public service to an internship he served with Congressman Bernie Sisk.

"That 10 weeks in Washington opened my eyes to new possibilities and opened doors for me," Costa said. "We want to open doors and make opportunities a reality for young students today with this program.

"We have an obligation to encourage and train future leaders from this Valley," Costa said.
Dr. Ellen Gruenbaum, dean of the College of Social Sciences, said applications should be ready in the spring and the first Costa Scholars named by summer. She expects two or three students to be selected in 2003. As the endowment grows, she said, it will allow for additional scholar-interns.

The Maddy Institute operates within the College of Social Sciences. Daniel K. Whitehurst is the Kenneth L. Maddy Professor and director of the institute.

In addition to designating the dinner proceeds for the new scholar-intern program, Costa has selected Fresno State as the recipient of his political papers.

The mission of the Maddy Institute is to elevate citizen participation and government performance at all levels through leadership training for public service.

Contact: Shirley Melikian Armbruste


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