~ By Kaitlin C. Meier, student writer for the College of Arts and Humanities

The Bulldog Pride Fund at Fresno State has established two new, annual scholarships to be presented for the first time in the 2018-19 academic year: the Eartha Kitt Vocal Performance Award and the Larry Newsome Theatre Arts Award.

Under the auspices of the Fresno State Alumni Association, the Bulldog Pride Fund is an endowment that provides an annuity to support students attending Fresno State that are in good academic standing who exemplify pride and service in the community.

The Eartha Kitt Vocal Performance Award, named after the iconic singer, of $2,000 per year has been established with $50,000 in new donations to the Bulldog Pride Fund endowment to support outstanding students majoring in vocal performance. The scholar to receive the annual award will be chosen by the Department of Music each spring.

“This award would provide one of our talented voice students with much-needed support to further their training at Fresno State, as well as pursue other outside opportunities,” said Dr. Maria Briggs, assistant professor of voice, “We are very excited about this new award and look forward to reviewing the applications!”

The Larry Newsome Theatre Arts Award of $2,000 per year has been established with an additional $50,000 in new donations to the Bulldog Pride Fund endowment to support outstanding students majoring in any theatre arts discipline. The annual recipients will be chosen by the Department of Theatre Arts each spring.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer another scholarship in our department and especially delighted that it honors a longtime patron and supporter of the Theatre Arts Department, Larry Newsome,” said J. Daniel Herring, chair of the Department of Theatre Arts, “For many years Larry attended every performance and sat in the front row. We miss his presence, but this scholarship allows for his love of the theatre to be continued by supporting our students and their creative activities and academic coursework in theatre.”

These new additions to the list of Bulldog Pride Fund awards, now totaling eight available scholarships, have been made possible through $100,000 in new donations, including a $71,000 bequest from Larry Newsome’s estate.

Dr. Cari Earnhart, director of choral activities, said there is a great deal of excitement in providing new opportunities for the recipients of the awards:

“We are ecstatic to be able to support deserving and talented young artists who desire to come to Fresno State to further their music education and develop their performance skills.”

Peter Robertson, the founder of the Bulldog Pride Fund and director of development for the Alumni Association, explained that recipients of the awards are those who “demonstrate pride in Fresno State, pride in the community and who have past experience volunteering and/or with community involvement.”

Including this upcoming 2018-19 academic year, the Bulldog Pride Fund will have provided 59 scholarships, administered by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, with a combined value of $111,000 since its establishment in 2005.

“Our goal is to help empower our students to great things as the leaders of tomorrow,” Robertson said. “Future goals include increasing the annual awards from $2,000 to $3,000.”

The scholarship application deadline is March 2. For more information or to apply online for the 2018-19 academic year, click here.

~Photos above courtesy of Bulldog Pride Fund founder Peter Robertson