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Five SFSU students recognized for their perseverance



Denize Springer
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 405-3803
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


Clanton Scholarships help students who overcome obstacles and serve their community

SAN FRANCISCO, November 4, 2005 -- Five San Francisco State University students have been awarded scholarships in recognition of their persistence in pursuing a college education. The scholarships totaling $10,000 were awarded by the Berry and Vera Lee Clanton Endowed Scholarship Fund, established at SFSU to help provide accessible higher education.

This year’s recipients are: Siaira Harris of San Francisco, Herbert Hatcher of Berkeley, Michelle Gomez of San Leandro, Fauna Willow Harrington of San Andreas and Tyrisha D. Berry. In addition to pursuing their education, all are active in their communities or have had to overcome physical or social obstacles. Each of the students aspires to a career that emphasizes community contributions.

Berry is legal guardian of a younger brother and studying for a degree in social work. Gomez has overcome domestic abuse and alcoholism to volunteer for a number of community organizations while she pursues her dream of a career as a graphic artist for charitable organizations. Harris has devoted her time outside of school since she was a teen to Youth Making a Change, a nonprofit youth rights organization. She is pursing a degree in speech and organizational communications. Hatcher, who has struggled with a nervous system disorder for almost 30 years, is seeking a degree in sociology. Harrington has just begun course work toward a graduate degree in education and hopes to have a career in which she can help improve public education.

The Berry and Vera Lee Clanton Fund was established in 2000 by Vera Lee Clanton, in memory of her late husband, to provide financial assistance to deserving, under-represented students at SFSU. Berry Clanton was one of the first African-American men to become a longshoreman in San Francisco. While he was not an educated man, his wife maintains, he held a "master’s degree in life." Vera Lee continues to be an active member of her community, continuing a tradition she began with her husband more than 50 years ago.

One of the largest universities in the California State University system, SFSU was founded in 1899 and today is a highly diverse, public university.


NOTE: Photos of scholarship recipients and Berry and Vera Lee Clanton are available upon request.

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Last modified November 4, 2005, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications