A former Fresno State football team athletic manager has donated $150,000 to California State University, Fresno. Charlie Keyan of Indio, a retired businessman and farmer who graduated in 1948, has established two endowed scholarships.
A $100,000 endowment will establish the “Charlie Keyan Endowed Scholarship in Armenian Studies,” with the income to be used to provide scholarships for students at Fresno State who enroll in Armenian Studies courses, with preference for freshmen.
Keyan also provided an endowed scholarship of $50,000 to the Athletics Department, with the income to be used for scholarships to student-athletes in the football program.
The donations were made, he said, with a goal of helping young people complete their college education. He noted that he received help when he was in college, and now he wants to help students stay in college.
He said he chose to give to Fresno State and in particular to the Armenian Studies Program because he heard from former classmates and friends how well the program has been doing under the leadership of director Dr. Dickran Kouymjian and Barlow Der Mugrdechian.
Keyan indicated that he plans to add funds to the existing scholarships and establish a separate endowment to benefit students studying agriculture at Fresno State.
A native of Fresno, Keyan enrolled in Fresno State in 1944, graduating with a major in history and physical education in 1948.
After graduation he went into business with his brother-in-law in Los Angeles and later worked the night shift while working as a substitute teaching during the day. He began purchasing property in the San Fernando Valley, building multiple housing units on them. He later moved to the Coachella Valley, near Palm Springs, and farm land. He grew grapes and shipped and sold his own produce in his own facilities.
Later he began investing in the stock market and was also very successful in that. He retired in 1988.