Benjamin R. Stockton Endowed Scholarship
Benjamin R. Stockton Endowed Scholarship
Benjamin R. Stockton, known by friends as “Randy”, is a proud alum of Political Science at Cal State Long Beach. Randy has always had a vision for helping his community. During his childhood years into his college years, he was constantly surrounded by hard-working young people who put in gritty, physical labor to make ends meet while also attending classes and going to school to earn their degrees. Randy grew up around the cultural and economic boom that occurred soon after the Great Depression. He and his peers, who came from rural parts of Southern California, worked tirelessly with limited resources but plenty of perseverance to finish schooling and begin their careers. It is this kind of journey that gave Randy so much passion for creating the Benjamin R. Stockton Endowed Scholarship and Program Fund in the Department of Political Science.
“I developed an appreciation for people in the classroom, most of whom were comfortably middle-class, but scattered around there were others who had struggles at home, and had to work and earn their degree at the same time. I thought—Wow. That’s a place where I can chip something in and help those folks cover their bills. Maybe they don’t have to take that third shift at work. Maybe they can get that term paper turned in on time.”
Ranked number one in the nation for advancing economic and social mobility in 2020, according to the 2020 Social Mobility Index (SMI), Cal State Long Beach prides itself in being the university that most working students attend in the Long Beach and South Bay areas. These students are working not only to financially support themselves and their tuition, but often to support their families as well. Randy is very empathetic to people in this situation and plans to use his scholarship contribution to help these kinds of students in perpetuity.
“I share the same values as CSULB; to provide an education and a pathway to the middle class for people who do not have a lot of social capital and do not have somebody who can pay their tuition for them.”
The Social Mobility Index provides an annually updated report that measures the extent of a four-year university’s impact in providing opportunities for economically disadvantaged students to graduate into well-paying jobs. In the report’s latest year, 2021, CSULB is still in the top three of the SMI, ranking in at number three.
Randy also believes that providing this scholarship in the Political Science Department is the best way for him and the University to provide encouragement for students hoping to contribute to the public good after graduation.
“I want SOMEbody to find SOME of the answers to this [the political division and disparity in the U.S]. I believe in making this gift in Political Science because it all begins here. Hopefully, the next generation of Political Science students and those who go into academia to teach or get into government and directly put their hands on these problems, will come from CSULB. Many of our problems in society are centered around economics and politics to some degree. I am excited to see students gain this opportunity, go through CSULB, and see what they can do for our community and the country.”
The chair of the Political Science Department, Dr. Amy Cabrera Rasmussen, believes Randy’s thoughtful generosity will have a significant impact: not only on individual awardees, but also on the department’s students more generally. “Being selected for a Stockton scholarship can provide a ladder of opportunity to majors who want to use their political science knowledge and skills to make a difference in their community, society, and world. But Randy’s investment in a program fund will also help us to create innovative workshops and provide concrete support for those motivated to contribute to the public good. Randy’s gift will help our students craft successful academic and professional paths. I am grateful that he has fond memories of his time in the department and sought to reconnect with us in such a meaningful and long-lasting way.”