Priscilla Moyer was living on her own while financing her education at California State University, Northridge in the 1970s. She struggled to cobble together classes for her major that fit into her full-time work schedule. It took her several years to graduate, and by that time, she was so busy with her career that she missed her commencement ceremony.
“Really, it was just having the tenacity to keep going,” said Moyer ’81 (Economics). “Because it was not easy. I thought if I ever skipped one semester, I probably would never go back.”
Moyer enjoyed a long and sterling career that got a boost through a training program at Security Pacific National Bank while she was still a student. Her tech and data skills helped her rise through the banking and financial services field to become senior vice president and chief information officer at Franklin Templeton, where she had global responsibilities for one of the world’s largest investment managers.
When Moyer stepped away from that role, she reflected on her life and the challenges she’d faced — as well as the opportunities that changed her life. She wondered if she might be able to make the road of higher education a little easier for someone else.
“How can I make an impact for an individual?” Moyer said recently, reflecting on her thought process. “How can I know that I really might’ve changed someone’s life?”
Her answer was scholarships. The Priscilla Moyer Scholarship Fund she created at CSUN in 2019 helps address some of the financial challenges she faced in her own college career.
Erika Martinez was the first recipient in 2020. Martinez worked two jobs while attending CSUN as a full-time freshman in 2019, trying to pay for her own tuition and books so her family members, some of whom have health issues, wouldn’t stress about the costs.
“The scholarship made it possible for me to attend college,” said Martinez, who was a sophomore in CSUN’s Department of Cinema and Television Arts in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication. “It helped me a lot to just be able to focus on academics and helped alleviate that financial pressure on my family.”
She was able to quit her second job, a remote position writing online ads for Snapchat. (She kept her part-time job in the University Library.) She was able to breathe.
Martinez is set to graduate this spring. Her ultimate goal is to produce feature films, and her scholarship freed up time for her to serve as a producer on her senior thesis film project, “Your Weapons.”
“Being able to focus on that, being able to pursue my passions, it’s been a big help,” Martinez said.
After receiving the scholarship in 2020, Martinez sent Moyer a video sharing her story and her hopes and dreams, also explaining how much the scholarship meant.
“It broke me up,” Moyer said. “It was touching and really inspirational to me.”
Seeing the impact the scholarship had on Martinez inspired Moyer to create more scholarships. The Priscilla Moyer Scholarship was awarded to one student in 2020, three in 2021 and five in 2022. Martinez was awarded the scholarship again for her junior and senior years. Moyer’s most recent scholarship gift to the university was matched through the CSUN Foundation’s Matador Match Challenge for 2022, which will increase future support available to scholarship recipients.
“I wanted to give an opportunity to somebody who might not otherwise get it,” she said.
To contribute to the Priscilla Moyer Scholarship Fund or create one of your own, please contact the CSUN Office of Development at (818) 677-2786 or email@example.com.