Thursday, August 19, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:           JULY 19, 2010


Citrus College Donor Posthumously Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
by Stacy Armstrong and Rachel White


Llewelyn Eugene Dudley always said that Citrus College held a special place in his heart. 


In 2007, he proved his affinity for the college by donating $100,000 to the Citrus College Foundation.  When the long-time Glendale resident passed away two years later, his thoughtful gift remained to affect the lives of countless students for years to come. 


This $100,000 donation is only one of the many reasons Dudley was posthumously selected to receive Citrus College Alumni Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented at the college’s commencement ceremony last month.


“Gene did much more than make a financial gift to Citrus College - he made a difference,” said Eric Magallon, supervisor of the Citrus College bookstore and president of the Citrus Alumni Association.  “We sincerely admire and appreciate his altruism and believed that it needed to be rewarded.”


Richard Lieboff, Dudley’s long-time partner, accepted the honor on his behalf.


“I am so proud that Gene was selected for this award,” Lieboff said.  “His legacy will live on through his generosity.  I hope he serves as an inspiration for others to follow his example and give to those less fortunate.”


In an interview prior to his death, Dudley explained that he made his donation in light of the increasing price of higher education.


“The cost of attending college has become astronomical,” he said.  “I think it is important for my generation to provide some financial assistance to enable the next generation of students to go on to a four-year college or university and to achieve a degree if they so desire.”


 The reason Dudley chose to donate his funds to Citrus College, as opposed to another educational institution, was because of his experience as a member of the class of 1965.


“I, like many others, did not grow up in affluence and Citrus College provided me with an affordable opportunity to begin my college career,” he said.


Since the $100,000 donation was made, it has been used to provide $1,000 scholarship to one Citrus College student every year.  According to Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College, receiving a scholarship such as this one is often a turning point in the life of a student.


“These funds enable students to pursue their academic dreams, as well as give them a sense of hope for the future,” she said.  “Much like the donor who has made these scholarships possible, the recipients will no doubt go on to make a difference in the world.”


While Dudley left the majority of his scholarship’s selection specifics up to the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee, he did have some general criteria that recipients should meet.


“I would like the student to have a 3.0 grade point average or higher and to have actively participated in the campus life of Citrus College; including, but not necessarily limited to, involvement in service organizations and/or student government,” he said.


It was not surprising that Dudley made campus involvement a requirement for his scholarship recipient.  As a Citrus College student, his involvement included serving as student body president, commissioner of student activities and as a member of the Student Court.  He also established a campus service organization, and wrote for the Citrus College Clarion student newspaper.


“I want to encourage others to consider becoming actively engaged in campus life,” he said.  “The benefits and personal growth opportunities for the individual, in my opinion, far outweigh the time and effort that participation in campus life necessitates.”


Another significant requirement Dudley made for the scholarship was that the student recipient must be transferring to a four-year school.


“I chose transferring students because the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university can be quite intimidating,” he said.  “There are, doubtless, many Citrus students who confront the high cost of upper division undergraduate study as they prepare to transfer to a four-year college or university.  I am hopeful that my scholarship will assist at least one person, each year, to ease a bit of the financial burden they will be facing.”


Dudley himself was a transfer student.  After graduating from Glendora High School in 1963, he enrolled at Citrus College.  Upon receiving his associate’s degree two years later, Dudley transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles.


“My first two years at Citrus College prepared me academically to move on to UCLA for my upper division undergraduate study,” he said.


After earning his bachelor’s degree in political science at UCLA in 1967, Dudley went on to attend graduate school at California State University, Hayward and California State University, Los Angeles where he majored in public administration.


Before completing his graduate studies, Dudley decided to join VISTA, the Domestic Peace Corps.  In 1972, he became an executive director of an eight-county community action agency in South Dakota and was ultimately appointed Deputy Director of the South Dakota Office of Economic Opportunity.


Dudley’s professional success continued when he moved back to California in 1974 to work with the California Department of Aging.  Six years later, he began a 25-year career with the City of Los Angeles.  After retiring as director of real estate for the Department of Recreation and Parks in 2004, he joined Prudential California Realty in Glendale. 


However, his declining health forced him to retire in 2007.  Several months later, he presented the Citrus College Foundation with his sizeable donation.


“Gene Dudley’s thoughtful gift is a prime example of Citrus College’s mission being fulfilled,” said Dr. Gary Woods, president of the Citrus College Board of Trustees.  “As an institution, we strive to support the academic excellence and personal achievement of our students on a daily basis.  There is perhaps no better way to do this than by providing them with financial assistance as they take the next step in their educational journeys.”


When making his donation, Dudley indicated that he wanted his gift to provide others with the opportunity to accomplish their goals.


“Citrus College has always held a special place in my heart,” he said.  “I am hoping that my scholarship, to some extent, will help another Citrus College student achieve his or her dream.”




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:           JULY 19, 2010



Gene Dudley