Alumni Herb and Melinda Depp have created a $300,000 endowed scholarship fund at California State University, Fresno to help low-income students with the cost of their education.
The Depps donated $150,000 to establish the Herb and Melinda Depp Endowed Scholarship Fund and their gift was maximized through a matching amount of $150,000 by Herb Depp’s employer, General Electric, where he is vice president of Boeing Programs.
Scholarships will target low-income students with a minimum 2.5 grade point average, covering full educational costs for up to five years.
The endowment will support two scholarships: the Herb Depp Science-Math Scholarship and the Melinda Depp Education Scholarship. Herb Depp graduated from Fresno State in 1966 with a geology degree. Melinda, a retired teacher, earned her education degree at the university in 1967. They live in Kirkland, Wash., and Hamilton, Mont.
Herb Depp said he decided to make the gift after speaking with Fresno State President John Welty. “He tells you what his vision is and it’s pretty obvious that to get there the university needs financing,” Depp said. “You need funds and you need people power and we wanted to be a part of that.”
Herb Depp added that he set a lower GPA requirement for the scholarships because “we want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to go to college who should go to college. We want to be able to make a difference, to identify two kids each year who are on the cusp of going to college but are financially unable.”
With his employer’s matching gift, the impact of the Depp scholarships is deepened.
“Matching gifts are an effective way for businesses to support important programs at Fresno State,” said Leticia Reyna Cano, director of donor and volunteer relations. “It’s a significant source of revenue for the university, and it’s a great way for individual donors to maximize their contributions.”