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Community Leader Doug Davidian Honored with Memorial Scholarship at Fresno Pacific



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Doug Davidian’s seemingly boundless energy led him to own and operate several businesses in Fresno while serving for decades in leadership roles in area business and education organizations.

Mr. Davidian, a graduate of Fresno High and Fresno State, died April 11 of complications from COVID-19. He was 68.

Check out my other School Zone columns at Nancy Price’s School Zone Facebook page.

He is being honored with a memorial scholarship fund at Fresno Pacific, where he infused many students with his entrepreneurial spirit. Fresno Pacific, in announcing the scholarship fund, called Davidian a Valley champion of small business who had a passion for helping people.

According to his obituary on, Mr. Davidian got an early start on being an entrepreneur, mowing neighbors’ lawns at age 8 and delivering The Fresno Bee.

After earning his college degree, Mr. Davidian taught at Coarsegold Union Elementary School and then followed up on his entrepreneurial spirit, founding California Business Furnishings, Desk Chairs & More, and Contract Interiors in Fresno.

His boundless energy and passion to help people propelled him to public service as well. Mr. Davidian served as president of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corp. and on the boards of Read Fresno, Kepler School, Clovis Unified School District, One by One Leadership, Fresno Business Council, and Community Medical Centers.

Also in School Zone: 

  • Madera Community College celebrates groundbreaking, first commencement.
  • Fresno State students practice philanthropy.

His Legacy Endures

The board of the Center for Advanced Research and Technology, a high school joint venture of the Clovis and Fresno unified school districts, honored Mr. Davidian at the April 13 board meeting. Deborah Nankivell, CEO of Fresno Business Council, said he had a profound impact on CART.

At Fresno Pacific, Mr. Davidian was a coach and mentor to budding entrepreneurs, some of whom may benefit from the new scholarship fund established in his name.

The Doug Davidian Memorial Micro-enterprise Scholarship Fund will help people who want to start their own small business get training through Fresno Pacific University’s Center for Community Transformation.

Selected micro-businesses may also qualify for small start-up investments.

Those receiving scholarships will participate in Launch Central Valley, a nine-week program covering topics including marketing, sales, and loans, as well as how to deal with attorneys, accountants and government officials. Area business people are presenters and coaches for the program participants, a role that Mr. Davidian also played.

To contribute to the scholarship fund:

Madera College Growing, and Growing Up

The next step in the evolution of California’s newest community college happened Friday when officials gathered at Madera Community College for a traditional groundbreaking ceremony, complete with speeches and golden shovels.

The college’s Academic Village 2 will house general education classrooms, distance learning classrooms, a student success center, an expanded library, and labs for nursing, computers, and criminology.

“As the newest community college in California and the only college in Madera County, these new facilities will help us meet the needs of the community we serve.”Madera Community College President  Angel Reyna

Academic Village 2 is the latest building for the 12th Avenue campus, which opened to students in August 1996 with a multipurpose building containing the student bookstore, food services, student activities center, and a large instruction classroom and also with 21 portable classrooms and computer labs.

The $35 million project is being built by BMY Construction Group, Inc. and is expected to open in the 2022-23 fiscal year.

Madera Community is State Center Community College District’s fourth college and became California’s 116th community college last year. The college also has a center in Oakhurst.

“As the newest community college in California and the only college in Madera County, these new facilities will help us meet the needs of the community we serve,” college president Angel Reyna said.

The district’s Measure C facilities bond is helping to build the campus and other capital projects. Voters passed the $485 million Measure C in 2016.

Madera Community College will reach another milestone this year with its first commencement ceremonies as a community college and not a satellite campus center of Reedley College. Ceremonies will be held May 20 and 21 at 6 p.m. at the college. Students are limited to two tickets each to maintain distancing due to the pandemic.

Dignitaries gathered Friday at Madera Community College for a groundbreaking ceremony. (State Center Community College District photo)

Fresno State Humanics Grants Awarded

Three Valley community-based organizations that focus on kids and military veterans are getting a financial boost from Fresno State Humanics Students4Giving Project.

The annual project is awarding $9,000 grants to Grandma’s House, Wounded Warriors, and Kids ReBuild. Grandma’s House in Tulare provides after-school and distance-learning programs, the Young Author’s project of Kids ReBuild is a resiliency program for kids whose lives were disrupted by the Sierra wildfires, and Wounded Warriors (Our Hero’s Dreams) in Hanford provides healing retreats for veterans and their families.

The Humanics students chose the three through a competitive grant process that was complicated this year because of the pandemic quarantine.

The Students4Giving Project has provided over $192,000 in grants to 149 different organizations in the San Joaquin Valley with the support of the Whitney Foundation, the Central Valley Community Foundation, and individual donors. Through the program, students learn about philanthropy and community leadership.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email