Campus: San Francisco State University -- May 05, 2003
Husband, wife establish scholarships for fellow
Donation of $25,000 doubles number of University Scholarships available
for fall 2003
While most college students seek financial aid, a husband and wife taking
classes at San Francisco State University are giving financial aid to
their fellow students.
Concerned that the economic recession is making it difficult for many
students to continue their studies and complete their degrees, Gary
and Cynthia Bengier have donated $25,000 to SFSU to establish undergraduate
scholarships of $1,000 each.
“The Bay Area has suffered disproportionately in this economic
downturn and it has rippled through the entire economy,” said
Gary Bengier, 48, former chief financial officer and senior vice president
for eBay. “This has affected students who work part time and has
made it harder for them to go to school full time.”
The Bengiers, who live in San Francisco’s Seacliff neighborhood,
are retired from successful careers as executives in high technology
and banking, respectively — but they are too young to join the
American Association of Retired Persons.
With more than enough free time on their hands since retiring several
years ago, Gary and Cynthia Bengier have enjoyed traveling and become
active in the community, establishing an endowment scholarship fund
at Kent State University — where Gary Bengier earned a bachelor’s
degree in computer science — donating to various other organizations
and causes, and serving on boards of directors.
The Bengiers, parents of a two children aged 22 and 6, also have decided
to pursue their intellectual interests at SFSU. Gary Bengier, who earned
an MBA from Harvard Business School, is taking courses in math and science.
Cynthia Bengier, 46, a former Wells Fargo Bank vice president who earned
her bachelor’s degree in marketing from SFSU in 1978 followed
by an MBA from New York University, is enrolled in the graduate program
The Gary and Cynthia Bengier University Scholarships are part of the
University Scholarship program. Their donation doubles the number of
University Scholarships available for the fall semester from 25 to 50.
“The Bengiers’ donation responds to the current economic
crisis and is especially important for San Francisco State, where many
of our students are working and taking out student loans,” said
Beverly Voloshin, professor of English and faculty coordinator for the
SFSU Office of Academic Honors and Scholarships.
Contact: Matt Itelson (415) 338-1743; (415) 338-1665;