Support Deserving Students - Give to the President's Circle for Excellence

Bound by a shared commitment to Fresno State, members of the President’s Circle for Excellence assist President Saúl Jiménez Sandoval in advancing the mission of Fresno State by providing discretionary funds for the president to direct where the greatest needs for Fresno State. The President’s Circle consists of alumni, faculty, staff, community members, business leaders, and friends of Fresno State who contribute a minimum of $500 (35 years or younger), $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 or $10,000+ annually. This support provides discretionary funds that are critical for Fresno State to react immediately to challenges and opportunities while continuing to provide an exceptional education.


This June, our goal is to raise $25,000 for the President's Circle for Excellence. Help us honor our newest alumni and gear up for those joining the Bulldog family in the Fall. 


Unrestricted funds are a powerful form of private support because they allow the university to allocate funding where current and often time-sensitive needs are greatest. Here are just a few examples.


Bulldog Marching Band – In 2023 the Bulldog Marching Band performed at the Rose Parade. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for nearly 300 band members was able to take the trip to Pasadena and showcase their talents on the national stage. Imagine being a Bulldog Marching Band student and graduating from Fresno State with such a momentous memory. This experience was both transformational and life-enhancing and brought tremendous pride to all Bulldog fans. This is what Mackenzie Lazarus said about her experience after attending the Rose Bowl:

“I grew up in Fresno and I’m the first in my family to get a four-year degree,” she said. “It’s a lot of pride. It means a lot that I was able to stay home, my family was able to be a part of it, and I’m able to be the ‘Pride of the Valley.’”


Student Success– For many Fresno State students, the path to graduation isn’t always easy. For Karen Carrillo, her journey as a first-generation college student instilled a strong sense of resilience, which she used to fuel her passion for advocacy. Karen worked two jobs just to make ends meet, all while balancing a full-time schedule and serving her peers through student government. But with scholarship support from the President's Circle for Excellence, Karen was able to reduce her workload, take on the role of student body president, and use her experience to fight food insecurity, promote diversity, and further expand resources for students.


“At the age of 12, my parents separated. At the age of 16, my mom had to make the difficult decision to move back to Mexico while I remained in the Valley. The next year and a half I couch-surfed through three homes. But there’s a saying my mom always told me, ‘querer es poder,’ which can be translated as ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way.’” 


Young Writers Conference – Over the past 40 years, each spring Fresno State welcomes 400 of Central California’s brightest young writers and their teachers to campus for a day of creative writing and imagination. Participants hear from an established writer about their art and professional life. They then break into small-group writing workshops taught by Fresno State graduate students who gain valuable firsthand mentoring and teaching experience. The conference even publishes its own journal, highlighting participants’ best works. For many, it’s their first visit to a college campus. This fosters writing while exposing young students to our beautiful university. 


Indeed, your $1,000+ gift changes lives.  It supports the aspirations of our talented students – gives them opportunities to dream, and to learn, and to explore. And in doing so, it promotes human connection and fosters empathy.  And, the gratitude they express for the belief we place in them while nurturing their potential is immeasurable.


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