Marino J. Riccomini was a self-made businessman who established a cotton farm in Bakersfield with his father. He passionately took care of the land and loved what he did. He believed that hard work paid off and always motivated others to follow their dreams.
Riccomini passed away on March 13, 2014. In his honor, his daughter Lisa Riccomini ’01 (M.A., English); his widow, Linda Riccomini, and his son-in-law, Garrett Clancy, established the Marino J. Riccomini Scholarships at California State University, Northridge.
“My dad was extremely generous,” Lisa Riccomini said. “He saw potential in other people.”
Lisa, a CSUN English professor, said the scholarships are intended for first-time freshmen at CSUN who are taking the U100 class or are part of the Educational Opportunity Programs (EOP).
“He always wanted me to have an education, an advanced education,” she said. “He believed in its value and its transformative power.”
The scholarships, which are also open to undocumented students, support scholars who demonstrate financial need, have high academic pursuits and standards, and who hope to use their educational goals to create something meaningful in the world.
“Many students have severe financial need and the drive to have a college education,” Lisa Riccomini said. “They need somebody to help believe in them and support them financially.”
Four of the five scholarships are administered by U100 staff, and one by EOP staff. A committee of CSUN faculty and staff screens all applicants and evaluates which students would benefit most from the support. Committee members also decide how the available $5,000 grant per academic year will be distributed between the selected students.
“[My father] would be pleased, seeing the emerging support of people helping [other people in need], making their dreams come true,” the professor said. “He worked very hard to be successful and really believed in other people. We want to help keep that alive.”