Fresno State alumnus David Vartanian pledged to fund an annual $1,000 scholarship to be awarded to a Fresno State pre-veterinary major.
The Ag One — Mr. Murphy the Bulldog Scholarship was created in memory of Vartanian’s adopted English bulldog, Mr. Murphy, who died March 7 — six days before the official campus bulldog mascot Victor E. II died.
“Mr. Murphy brought hope, joy and, most of all, love to everyone who met him,” said Vartanian, a 2008 graduate of the Craig School of Business at Fresno State who is now director of sales for PepsiCo in the western United States. “I hope this scholarship will help a Fresno State junior or senior each year follow a professional career in enriching the lives of animals and their owners.”
Vartanian noted that Murphy enjoyed walks at parks and chasing scooters, skateboards and soccer balls. He even credits Murphy with introducing him to his fiancee, Kristi Lloyd. When Vartanian was living in Manhattan Beach, he returned to Fresno to drop Murphy off with his family before flying out for a business trip. He met Lloyd that weekend at church.
The scholarship is also a tribute to Mr. Murphy’s team of veterinarians at Fresno Pet Emergency and Referral Center and NorthPointe Animal Hospital, Vartanian said.
Fresno State’s pre-veterinary major is part of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. The curriculum emphasizes hands-on training and has placed students in veterinary programs across the country and world.
“We are sincerely appreciative of Mr. Vartanian’s gift,” said Randy Perry, chair of the Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education departments. “Pre-veterinary is our most popular animal science major so this scholarship will be put to good use, especially since veterinary students are always in demand.”
Vartanian, a Fresno native, is a former Bulldogs cross country student-athlete, as was his younger brother Daniel, who graduated in 2013 .