Matoian gives $500,000 to support business and nursing students

Fresno State’s most accomplished business students now have a new opportunity to attend school on a  four-year academic scholarship thanks to the support of local businessman and alumnus Mathias “Matty” Matoian.

The bulk of Matoian’s $500,000 gift to the university will establish the “Matty Matoian Scholarship Endowment” in Fresno State’s Craig School of Business. Students selected to receive the scholarship will be awarded a total of $16,000 over four years.

Matoian points to his personal experience as inspiration for the gift. “The best four years of my academic life were at Fresno State,” he said. “I majored in Business Administration and am hopeful that the scholarships will allow other students to also go to Fresno State and achieve their dreams.”

Four students will be named Matoian Scholars at the start of the 2014-15 academic year. In following years, at least one additional student will be selected per year. Fresno State’s full-time undergraduate, in-state tuition is about $6,200 per year.

“The scholarships from this generous gift will benefit countless students for years to come,” said Dr. Robert Harper, dean of the Craig School. “I look forward to introducing Matty to the first set of Matoian Scholars this fall. I know he will be impressed by the caliber of these scholars and take great satisfaction in playing a role in their educational experience.”

In addition to the support of the Craig School, $50,000 of Matoian’s gift will bolster the Charles Matoian Endowed Scholarship for nursing students, an endowment established in 1992 in memory of Matoian’s father.

Matoian is Chairman of the Board for OK Produce, a leading wholesale distributor serving supermarkets throughout California. The family business was founded by Charles Matoian in 1950. Matoian first started with the business in 1955, packing lettuce boxes, pitching watermelons and sweeping the floors. According to Matoian, he continued with OK Produce while studying at Fresno State, spending his weekends and holidays learning every facet of the business.

After graduation in 1965 Matoian continued working for his father and took over the helm in 1979 when his father became ill. His sons, Chad and Brady joined the company in 2000 and 2001. “When I retired in 2008, my boys took over the company and are doing a tremendous job growing the business throughout California,” said Matoian.

A longtime supporter of Fresno State, Matoian is also known for his philanthropic support of St. Paul’s Church, Break the Barriers, the Save Mart Center, Community Regional Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Central California, St. Agnes Hospital, Exceptional Parents Unlimited and Nancy Hinds Hospice.

“This gift is a continuation of Matty’s long history of supporting the university and its students,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “The Matoian Scholars will be a lasting tribute to one of the Craig School’s most distinguished alumni and greatest friends.”

The Craig School was established in 1928 as the School of Commerce. It is now recognized as one of the top business schools in California, with a ranking from the Princeton Review. All of the programs in the college are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

Undergraduate degrees are offered in Business Administration and Economics. Masters of Business Administration degrees are available through the traditional program, executive program, agricultural executive program or online.

For more information, contact Kathleen Schock, director of media and development communications, at 559.278.2756 or kschock@csufresno.edu.

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Kathleen Schock

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Director of Media and Development Communications, University Communications
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