As a tribute to Tom Foster, the late son of Foster Farms' founders Max and Verda Foster, the company and the Foster family announced on December 16 that they have established a Memorial Scholarship Program in his namesake at California State University, Stanislaus.
The $500,000 Tom Foster Memorial gift endowment will be given over the next five years to the University's Economics Department and School of Business Administration. Each year, scholarships will be awarded to students in good academic standing who demonstrate a financial need and are pursuing studies in agri-business and related fields.
"Business and agriculture are integral parts of the Foster family heritage," said George Foster. "Helping students in these areas of study will help keep the traditions of the Foster family and Foster Farms alive, carry on the family heritage and serve as a remembrance of my brother Tom."
A 1971 CSU Stanislaus Economics graduate, Tom Foster was the youngest of company founders' Max and Verda Foster's four children and served as the firm's president from 1977 to 1992. During his tenure as head of the company, the unassuming family member helped grow Foster Farms into what it is today.
In addition to his devotion to business and family, Tom pursued a life-long interest in sports car racing. He helped found Tracer Racing and successfully competed in the Sports Car Club of America division for more than 20 years, leading his team to an unprecedented 13 national championships, seven of which were won with him behind the wheel.
Tom was also a little-known community philanthropist who supported local charities like the Sierra Vista Children's Center of Modesto, the Salvation Army, and D.A.R.E. drug education program in Merced and Stanislaus Counties.
"The Foster Farms donation to CSU Stanislaus is a continuation of Tom Foster's lifelong commitment to Central Valley causes," said Dr. Marvalene Hughes, CSUS president. "We are grateful to the Foster family for this generous contribution in memory of an exemplary community leader."
This year marks the 60th anniversary for family-owned Foster Farms, a poultry processing firm based in Livingston California, 12 miles south of the CSU Stanislaus campus in Turlock.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News