Torchlight | Fall 2015

Retirees Association stays connected to campus

As president of the Sac State Retirees Association in 2012, Tom Griffith sat down with the Association’s board members to establish goals and objectives for the coming year.

Retirees Association Scholarship

Retired faculty and staff members (from back left) Tom Griffith, David Wagner, Nancy Fox, Louellyn Lower, (from front right) Terry Manns and Jean Torcum meet with Retirees Association Scholarship recipients (from front left) Holly Siino and Kindra Davis. 

One goal in particular stood out: the creation of a Retirees Association scholarship.

“I thought it was a great idea because the board had regularly donated to the Faculty Senate’s endowed scholarship,” Griffith says. “Our own scholarship would provide direct support to students and help increase campus awareness of the Retirees Association.”

Fast-forward three years and the scholarship program is in full swing.

Biological sciences major Kindra Davis and child development major Holly Siino are the recipients of the Retirees Association Scholarship for 2015-16. Both work as student assistants on campus—Davis in the Department of Biological Sciences and for Student Health and Counseling Services, and Siino in the Center for College and Career Readiness and in the Department of World Languages and Literature.

The extra $1,500 may result in each student spending less time at their respective workplaces.

“The scholarship has helped me become more independent and alleviated the pressure to work all the time,” says Davis. “This semester I’ve spent more time focusing on my schoolwork.”

Siino says the additional money helps her plans to continue her education after her undergrad degree. “It allows me to not be as stressed by working less, and to have more time to concentrate on my classes and extracurricular activities.”

David Wagner, current president of the Retirees Association, says the feedback from previous recipients helped determine the scholarship’s greatest impact.

“Students are able to compensate for the loss of income from working fewer hours. For some, we know it has allowed them to take an extra course or study abroad,” Wagner says. “It’s good that we know it accelerates their ability to get through college in a timely manner.”

The Retirees Association encourages faculty, staff and administrators who have retired from Sac State to stay connected to both colleagues and areas of interest they have at the University.

In addition to the scholarship, the group provides programmatic seed funding to a number of departments on campus. In recent years, the Association has supported 16 different programs, including the Festival of the Arts, the Library Gallery, the University Staff Assembly and more.

Supporting Sac State has always been a core tenet of the Association, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, Wagner says the board felt it was important that its nearly 200 members show appreciation to those who came before them.

“We voted to establish a Founders Endowment as a way to commemorate and honor the work done by the founding board,” says Wagner. “The purpose is to provide reasonably steady income for the campus-based programs that the Association contributes to—such as the student scholarship fund and our faculty development grant.”

Are you a former Sac State faculty
or staff member? Find out how
you can join the Retirees Association


Furthermore, Wagner says endowments and other giving options serve as a vehicle for members to strengthen their charitable intent. “The importance of all-volunteer organizations is to thrive and develop some ambitious planned-giving goals,” he says. “The Association has worked as well as it has because of the support of its members.”

Some of the Association’s philanthropic efforts are already making a difference.

“I’m really thankful for the Retirees Association’s presence on campus and its ability to give back to the community,” Siino says. “It has impacted my life, and hopefully I’ll be able to give back and help students as a future teacher.”

For information about making a planned gift to Sac State, visit