Founding faculty member beqeaths $140K for scholarships

Jason Chung

A founding faculty member endowed over $140,000 in scholarship funds to Saddleback College Foundation in appreciation for the aid she received while attending college.

The late instructor Linda Richardson Rice, who passed away in 2010, bequeathed the funds to help students majoring in education or planning a career in the field, according to a letter from the law office of Jane Bauer, the attorney carrying out her will.

An educator for more than 50 years, her generosity stemmed from her passion for teaching, dedication to the college, as well as her appreciation for the scholarships she received while she was a student in college, according to information provided by the letter.

“She was very attached to the college,” said Trudi Baggs, special projects coordinator of the Foundation, “she just wants to give back what she received when she was in college.”

Rice joined Saddleback as one of its first faculty members when it was established in 1968. She taught secretarial science initially, but contributed further by originating many computer-related courses during a time when computers were just gaining popularity in consumer use.

“She was very instrumental in starting courses in computer science and business management,” Baggs said.

She had also authored a number of textbooks as well as written manuals for the International Association of Book-keepers.

When she retired in 1995 after 27 years of teaching at Saddleback, she was given The Computer Information Management Recognition Award for Distinguished Contributions by the college in recognition for her efforts.

But retirement did not stop her from continuing to teach. For the next seven years, she remained in Saddleback as a part-time instructor of business science and computer courses. After a short departure, she returned in 2006 as a faculty member for the Emeritus Institute until her death.

Distribution of Rice’s endowment will begin in May. In order to quality for the scholarship, students must be majoring or planning a career in education. They must also have completed at least 12 credit units at Saddleback and be enrolled in at least six credit units, in addition to being in good academic standing.

The Saddleback College Foundation is committed to making higher education accessible to students in South Orange County. It provides scholarships to students in order to enhance the quality of their learning experience. Financial support is gained through community fundraising as well as donor endowments.

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