Hunsakers Honored at Memorial

by | Nov 1, 2021 | Cover Story, News | 1 comment

Students at the University of Redlands inevitably know the name Hunsaker. Many of us gather outside the Commons in the Hunsaker University Center, and a select few receive scholarships bearing the Hunsaker name. However, not many students know the story behind the name. 

Virginia “Ginnie” and Richard “Rich” Hunsaker both passed away in January of 2021, nine days apart from each other. On October 14th, 2021, the university held a memorial for the couple in the Memorial Chapel. They are survived by their four children, twelve grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren, but their legacy reaches beyond those they are related to. 

The Hunsakers graduated from the University of Redlands in 1952, Ginnie with a degree in education and Rich with a degree in business/economics. The couple then moved to Long Beach to start their life together. Rich had a very successful real estate business in Southern California while Ginnie worked as a kindergarten teacher. 

The couple were, and continue to be, a huge inspiration to students, alumni, and faculty. Their generous donations, amounting to an estimated total of 75 million dollars, have led to the creation of several spaces on campus and substantial scholarships for students. 

The Hunsaker Plaza is most famously named after them, with a new painting of the late couple to be placed on display there following the memorial at which it was unveiled. The Hunsakers contributed to the creation of the Hunsaker Plaza, the Armacost Library, and the Stauffer Center. They also contributed greatly to the athletics program, the Irvine Commons, and the Memorial Chapel in their time as alumni. 

Furthermore, the couple is responsible for a number of endowed chairs the faculty sit on today. They were both members of the Board of Trustees at different points in their lives, and even after their time on the board ended, were great contributors to the Redlands community. 

Rich and Ginnie Hunsaker spent seven decades of their lives with the University of Redlands, through their donations and time as members of the Board of Trustees. In 2014, the couple donated 35 million dollars to the university, creating the Hunsaker scholarship which has changed the lives of many students who have received the award. 

The two strongly believed in higher education and their contributions to the University demonstrate that well. They were described by many at the memorial as very modest and kind individuals, allegedly making donations with their own money but in others’ names to the university as well.

The Hunsakers did not donate their money because they wanted to have buildings named after them, but because they believed in the university and its mission to educate its students. Their legacy can be felt through alumni, current students, and future students to come.

Photo contributed by Bulldog Photo Contributor Michael Driscoll.

1 Comment

  1. Ju

    Glad to see people like this, helping out with education.