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Academics

University of the Pacific’s Annual High School Math Competition Receives Integral Support

In memory of a young mathematician, Stockton parents build on Pacific’s contest for high school students; more than 80 will test their mathematic skills on April 13
Apr 2, 2013
A generous donation by the parents of the late Avinash Raina will provide for a permanent annual high school math competition at Pacific.

University of the Pacific has been given a generous donation to help sustain the annual High School Math Competition and its mission to challenge local high school students and enhance their critical thinking and math skills.

The donation was made by the parents of a young Stockton man, Avinash Raina, who as a Stagg High School student had exceptional math skills. Avinash was a gifted student who believed math skills were critical to our everyday living. He not only excelled at math, but had a passion for speech and journalism. Avinash was never able to realize his many professional ambitions, because at 19 he was diagnosed with tongue cancer. Avinash succumbed to the disease in less than two years.

His parents, Surrender and Girja Raina, knew that their son's passion and legacy could live on through the encouragement and support of other young mathematicians and make an impact in his community. They created the Avinash Raina Foundation to do just that.

The Stockton residents had known about Pacific and the caliber of its math and engineering programs, and felt the University's annual math competition would be a perfect match to honor their son. Their gift of $160,000 will allow for a permanent annual math competition on campus. Competition awards will be named in honor of Avinash so that each student will feel the personal impact of the young man's memory. The Raina's also knew that through their gift they were making an investment in their community's youth by supporting and celebrating their competitiveness, which was so important to Avinash.   

"To know that my son's legacy will live on year after year in local students' lives makes me so proud" said Girja Raina, his mother. "I am looking forward to seeing the students' faces when they receive the award with Avinash's name on it. I know my son would be honored to be a part of such an inspirational program."

The fourth annual competition will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 13, 2013, at University of the Pacific. Hosted by Pacific's Math Club, the competition consists of four levels of individual tests, including standard questions and more challenging, non-traditional problems. Eighty-one students from nine different local high schools, including Stagg High where Avinash flourished, have registered.

The competition was co-founded by Pacific student and math club member, Alicia Still '13. 

"The support from the Avinash Raina Foundation secures my hope that this event will provide a lasting opportunity for youth in this area to celebrate their math skills. As a senior at Pacific, I am pleased that this competition will continue to foster young mathematicians long after I have graduated," said Still, Pacific High School Math Competition coordinator.

To learn more about the Pacific High School Math Competition or to attend, call 209.946.3166 or email jmayberry@pacific.edu.