The California State University Chancellors Office has announced that Fresno State student Chad Hathaway of Bakersfield is among 10 students from throughout the CSU system who are being honored with the first Silver STARS Award for service to the community.
President John D. Welty this week formally announced the award for Hathaway, a 22-year-old communications major who was diagnosed with chronic granulocytic leukemia in November 1998.
"It was Chad's tireless service, while faced with his own life-threatening illness, that earned him this award," Welty said. "In fact, even while undergoing a very difficult and risky bone marrow transplant of his own, Chad has continued to champion the effort to get more people on the national registry."
Hathaway organized the Fresno State blood and bone marrow drive last February which is believed to be the largest such drive ever held on a university campus in the nation's history, according to Chris Fiorentino, coordinator of the Fresno State Students for Community Service which organizes the campus blood drives.
More than 600 people registered for the National Marrow Donor Registry during that drive.
Fiorentino said Hathaway underwent a very difficult and risky bone marrow transplant last spring and is recuperating at his family home in Bakersfield where he graduated from East High School in 1994. In 1997, he transferred from Bakersfield College to Fresno State with his sights on becoming the football Bulldogs' punter before an injury sidelined him.
"The award recognizes outstanding CSU students who have gone to great lengths to address serious problems in our communities through direct service," Fiorentino said.
STARS (Students That Are Recognized for Service) is a new program launched this year by the CSU Office of Student Relations, Fiorentino explained. Each of the 23 campuses was asked to nominate a student.
The program recognizes students throughout the system who have demonstrated outstanding dedication and energy to the betterment of their communities, said Christy Zamani, coordinator of CSU Student Relations.
"We aspire that this program will both recognize and promote students to get more involved with their communities, and set the wonderful example as community leaders that they have continuosly done over the year," said Zamani.
Students for Community Service is one example of the programs Fresno State offers students as an opportunity to serve the community while gaining valuable hands-on experience.
Fiorentino said that in the last four years SCS has held six drives each year, collecting from 1,000 to 1,300 units of blood each year.
"Chad and a fellow student, Chris Boudreau, came to us last fall regarding a bone marrow drive," he said. "They told me about Chad's situation and what they wanted to do. From there, we worked with the Blood Center and with various campus entities to put the event together."
Hathaway and Boudreau raised about $35,000 to cover the screening costs so donors would not have to pay the $35 fee.
"They also worked very hard to get media attention, market the event, and gain supporters from all over the community such as Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson, Councilmember Ken Steitz, the County Board of Supervisors, President Welty, Bulldogs football coach Pat Hill and many others," said Fiorentino whose office handled campus logistics and campus marketing while providing consulting on other phases.
For more information, contact Fiorentino at 278-2079.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News