Alumnus Offers Full Tuition for Business Majors
Retired business executive D. Scott Mercer ('76, accounting) will provide two fully funded scholarships to business majors beginning this fall.
The pledge will cover tuition and fees for two College of Business Administration students every year, provided they take a full course load and maintain at least a 3.0 grade-point average.
"Cal Poly Pomona has a very fond place in my heart," says Mercer, an active supporter with strong ties to the college. "I left there with a really good experience, and I respect what they do for young adults."
When Mercer was an undergraduate at Cal Poly Pomona, he balanced his commitment to his studies with his marriage and a full-time job in accounting. Much of his professional success hinged on his education, and Mercer says he is grateful that Cal Poly Pomona offered classes and resources that suited his schedule.
Now, he wants to ease the burden for at least two business students.
"This is more of what I want to do at this point in my life," Mercer says. "I wanted my next gift to be a little more meaningful to some people's lives."
College of Business Administration Dean Richard Lapidus says there is little doubt the merit-based scholarships will have an impact.
"This is the type of scholarship that changes students' lives," Lapidus says.
The scholarships are targeted to incoming students, but returning business majors may apply. Mercer has reserved one scholarship for former or current members of the U.S. military. Although he has never served in the military, he has a deep appreciation for veterans and service members.
"We ask a lot out of the young men and women who volunteer for service," he says. "This is the right thing to do."
Mercer is an advocate for enriching the student learning experience. A prior $300,000 gift to the college will create a case room in the new CBA building complex that will allow for more interactive learning between faculty and students.
Mercer recently retired as chairman and chief executive officer of Newport Beach chipmaker Conexant. He remains a private investor and sits on the board of directors for Northern California tech companies Polycom and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, and for QLogic in Southern California. He has served on the board of directors for many other companies such as NetRatings, an Internet audience measurement company, and Palm, the company that created the Palm Pilot.
Mercer was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame in 1993 and was named CBA Distinguished Alumnus in 2003.