Jerry Wayne Varnado received a BA in Economics from San Francisco State University in 1969. As a student, he was involved with the Negro Students Association and co-founded the Black Student Union (BSU). In 1968, he and his fellow BSU leaders in coalition with the Third World Liberation Front, other students, faculty, and community members organized the nation’s longest student strike to protest the lack of access, misrepresentation, and the overall neglect of indigenous peoples and people of color within the University’s curriculum and programs. The activism of the strikers was the impetus for the founding of the College of Ethnic Studies in 1969.
The Jerry Wayne Varnado Ethnic Studies Scholarship recognizes and assists promising undergraduate students majoring or minoring in the College of Ethnic Studies with a scholarship award of $6,000 ($3,000 in fall and $3,000 in spring). Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and demonstrate: 1) an aspiration to be a productive member of society; 2) commitment to the values of social justice, diversity and inclusivity; and 3) participation in service or activities that advance these values.