Fonda remembers how his mother influenced him and his sister to pursue
advanced degrees. Each eventually obtained a Ph.D., degrees that opened
doors of opportunity in both their lives.
Mary McNellis Fonda passed away in February 2001. Ed Fonda, in his 20th
year at Cal Poly Pomona where he is presently professor and chair of
the universitys Animal & Veterinary Sciences Department, has
chosen to honor his mothers memory by establishing the Mary McNellis
My mother was so supportive of education. The mother of two kids,
she came from a farm, became a nurse, earned two masters degrees and
eventually became head of nursing administration for a large hospital
in New Orleans, says Fonda. She encouraged me and my sister
to continue our education. I see this as a wonderful tribute, establishing
a memorial that will enable other students to further their educational
The Mary McNellis Fonda Scholarship will be awarded each year by the
College of Agriculture through the Cal Poly Pomona University Educational
Trust. It will annually recognize a full-time student who is a U.S.
citizen with a GPA of 3.0 or higher majoring in Animal & Veterinary
Sciences. First preference will be given to a qualified graduate student.
My mother had two graduate degrees and encouraged both her children
to get graduate degrees, so I believe its fitting we try to recognize
a graduate student with this award, adds Fonda. So many
times scholarships are established for undergraduates and we may forget
the importance of graduate training. I feel this is a good chance to
create an opportunity for those students looking to continue their educations.
Fondas $10,000 gift creates a continuing endowment for the scholarship.
After one year, that endowment will qualify for matching funds provided
by the Kellogg Foundation.