By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The Dr. Robert Blackey Endowed Student Award Fund has been increased to $50,000 thanks to contributions from Blackey, a professor emeritus from the history department, who has the distinction of being the first CSUSB faculty member to reach the milestone of 50 years of service.
Blackey, who retired in 2018, established the fund to celebrate his 50 years of serviceto the university and to make it possible for CSUSB students to focus more on their academic studies rather than their financial needs. The endowment will distribute about $2,000 per year in scholarship awards to deserving students majoring in history as well as fulfilling other criteria.
Blackey grew up in a working class, immigrant family and worked part-time starting at the age of 13 to help the family with expenses. He worked part-time through college, both undergraduate and graduate school to support himself. He recognized that many CSUSB students have comparable backgrounds to his and that they must work in order to stay in school.
Blackey began his teaching career in CSUSB’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the fall of 1968. The then-state college had barely 2,000 students then and as the school grew, Blackey’s opportunities increased alongside.
“Being here has helped me to grow and has led me to opportunities, which then led me to even more opportunities,” said Blackey. He got his first degree from City College of New York as a history major, then went on to earn both his master’s and doctorate in history from New York University.
Prior to his retirement, for 35 years, Blackey participated in Project UPBEAT, a program designed to encourage middle school students to attend college. Blackey was the first CSUSB faculty member asked to be involved with the program and, at one point; he was giving up to 16 talks in one academic year. In total, he has given more than 250 of these presentations to thousands of middle school students.
For more information on the Dr. Robert Blackey Endowed Scholarship Fund, visit the CSUSB Department of History Scholarships web page. For information on giving opportunities, visit the CSUSB College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Giving Opportunities web page.