Mair Family Foundation invests in future educators with $1.25M gift

Jim and Gretchen Mair

Jim and Gretchen Mair 

Pacific students pursuing careers in education are eligible for generous support thanks to a $1.25 million gift from the Mair Family Foundation to establish the Meredith Mair Scholars Endowment for Education Scholarship.

Scholarship recipients will be known as “Meredith Mair Scholars,” a tribute to the Pacific alumna who died unexpectedly in 2018.

“Meredith was a generous person who was devoted to helping people,” said Jim Mair, Meredith’s father and a former regent. “Supporting students with scholarships so they can fulfill their own passion of helping and inspiring others is a wonderful way to honor her.”

The donation is eligible for the Powell Match, a gift matching program at Pacific, which will eventually put the endowment at $2.5 million.

The scholarship is intended for full-time students in any of the university’s schools or colleges who plan to work in the education field. 

Linda Webster, professor and senior associate dean of Benerd College, calls it a tremendous opportunity.

“A lot of our students need help,” Webster said. “Scholarships like this create terrific opportunities for the local community to come to Pacific, get a high-quality degree, and go out and give back to the community helping future generations of students.”

Once fully funded, four students will annually be awarded a $25,000 scholarship, which can be renewed if recipients remain in good academic standing.

“Our students will benefit greatly from this generous gift by allowing them to focus on their studies instead of finances,” said President Christopher Callahan. “There is a tremendous need for teachers, so I’m extremely grateful to Jim and Gretchen for supporting future educators with this scholarship.”

This will be the second “Meredith Mair Scholars” fund at Pacific. The family established a scholarship fund in 2018 for students who study performance in the Media X program to honor Meredith’s love of theater.

Meredith Mair ’94 acted in theater productions while a student at Pacific, put together a troupe to perform for Stockton schoolchildren and formed a Destination Imagination group and STEAM competition for children in Sacramento.

The Mair family has a long legacy with Pacific. Meredith’s parents, Jim Mair ’68 and Gretchen Wolf Mair ’68, graduated from Pacific, as did Meredith’s husband Clint Fleener ’94 and sister Carolyn Mair Harnish ’97. The family’s philanthropic focus is education.