With the theme  “Leadership, Legacy, and Lineage,” the Black Faculty, Staff and Students Association of Cal State San Bernardino at its annual Pioneer Breakfast honored a group of CSUSB “pioneers” for their dedication, support and contributions to the university’s students and its programs.

“Our California State University, San Bernardino pioneers, who are made up our, have made and continue to provide a tremendous impact and commitment in their outreach to our students and the campus,” said event chair Anthony Roberson.

University President Tomás D. Morales called the breakfast event, now in its fifth year, a “rainbow” in welcoming the gathered at the CSUSB Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center on Feb. 24.

“So many members of our faculty, staff, students, our alumni, and other leaders throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties are here in celebration,” Morales said. “I ask you to join me now in showing our immense appreciation for the dedication, the vision and the achievements this year’s group has provided. It is you who honor us, setting an impressive standard for all who follow.”

The honorees were:

  • Katrina McDowell, community service officer of the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus,  Staff Award recipient;
  • Mary Texeria, professor of sociology, Faculty Award recipient;
  • Soncia Reagins-Lilly, former CSUSB faculty member, now vice president for student affairs and dean of students at The University of Texas at Austin, Administration Award recipient;
  • Danny Tillman, Departmental Information Systems administrator for San Bernardino County Human Services, Alumni Award recipient; and
  • Jamal Nassar, dean emeritus, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Lorraine Frost Award recipient, given to allies in education.

The breakfast also honored biology/pre-med major Prince Ogidikpe, who was the recipient of the Cynthia Linton Essay Contest Essay Competition.

Ogidikpe and the other entrants wrote on the event’s theme of leadership, legacy and lineage. Ogidikpe, who originally moved to the U.S. in 2010 from Bayelsa State, Nigeria, and in December attained U.S. citizenship, will receive a $250 scholarship.

The Pioneer Breakfast, which serves as a fundraiser for five scholarships to benefit current CSUSB students, also announced this year’s winners:

  • Tabitha Blackburn – The Terrilynn Monette Memorial Scholarship;
  • Diamond Favors – The Dr. Mildred Henry Scholarship;
  • Austin Nichols-Warren – The Dr. J. Milton Clark Tenacity Scholarship;
  • Drew Thomas – The Belva Holder Memorial Scholarship; and
  • William Wall – The John Overton Memorial Scholarship.

One of the breakfast’s highlights came from alumni MaryJane McCoy and Joyce (Gates) Payne, who were honored at last year’s Pioneer Breakfast as two of the four first Black CSUSB graduates.

McCoy and Payne presented President Morales with a check for $11,000 for the CSUSB Educational Opportunity Program Renaissance Scholars through the recently created Mary Jane McCoy and Joyce E. Payne Pioneer Awards.

Going to the EOP office used for students to help students with specific needs

For more information, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication and visit news.csusb.