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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

A legacy of giving: Dan Giustina discusses his large gift; dedicated to his longtime friend

Dan Giustina
Dan Giustina

What inspired you to donate $2 million to Chico State’s College of Agriculture?

Dan Giustina: I do what I do because I enjoy doing it. It’s important that we give back, and not just be takers.

I have always looked at college as being very special. I looked at college as a gate to the future. Advancement in higher education is where I have put my time.

Did you have the scholarship in mind when you visited the Chico State campus about six months ago?

The Bells talked about higher education and their love for Chico State. I was hugely impressed with the agricultural program there. I got to meet students and came to the conclusion that this is what I could do to preserve the Bell family legacy.

Can you tell me about Tom Bell? What kind of person was he?

What struck me most about Tom was he had a huge presence. He didn’t have to say a lot, but when he did, it meant something. Tom’s handshake was his word.

You were bound by your word and no contracts were needed.

Who can apply for the Bell Family Presidential Scholarship?

The scholarship is for incoming freshmen. It’s for the best and brightest agricultural students in California.

Can you tell me more about yourself – maybe something most people don’t know?

When I got out of college, I worked at a bank for three years.

Banking didn’t excite me that much. Then I ran an irrigation plant in Denver and worked overseas in South Africa, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

I got asked to come back to the family timber business in 1990.

I always liked working but after I got back to the family business, I realized that’s what I really wanted to do.

Why do you think supporting higher education is important?

The towns of Chico and Eugene are similar because they’re college towns. I felt very comfortable in that academic environment.

It was kind of like I grew up in Chico. It was just natural.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I feel very honored to do this for the community of Chico and Chico State. Chico has always been a second home to me.


Risa Johnson can be reached at [email protected] or @risapisa on Twitter.

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