Alumnus Rich Sherratt '70, center, with Pioneer Baseball Head Coach Dirk Morrison and Athletic Director Debby De Angelis.
With the move to NCAA Division II and a new athletic conference, it has been a year of new experiences for Cal State East Bay’s athletic department and fans. Now a $25,000 gift from alumnus Rich Sherratt '70 will bring another exciting first for Pioneer athletics: the university’s first athletic scholarship endowment.
Announced at the inaugural alumni baseball game Oct. 10, the Richard and Susan Sherratt Athletic Scholarship Endowment will provide financial support for student-athletes beginning in 2010, said Pioneer Athletic Director Debby De Angelis.
“We are particularly excited that this will be our first endowment for Intercollegiate Athletics," she said. "It is the type of gift that contributes to our future and continues to give each year.”
Each year, several student-athletes from baseball as well as other sports will be formally acknowledged as the recipients of the Sherratt scholarship. “They will communicate with the Sherratts about their season and academic progress,“ De Angelis said.
Sherratt, now an entrepreneur and civic leader, played baseball for the Pioneers in 1968 and 1969, pitching as both a starter and a reliever. His two-year win-loss record of 16-6 and 2.80 earned run average garnered him an honorable mention on the 1969 All-Far West Conference team. In 2002, he was inducted into the Cal State East Bay Athletic Hall of Fame.
The founder and CEO of Ballena Technologies in Alameda, Sherratt is an active supporter of Cal State East Bay and is a trustee of the Cal State East Bay Educational Foundation. He and his wife, Susan, decided to make the gift on the occasion of the Division II move — the division Sherratt played in during his time as a Pioneer.
“I worked hard to put myself through Cal State and being a part of the baseball team added to my success in college,” he said. “I feel it is important to give back to the university. It is my hope that this scholarship gives student athletes an opportunity they might not have otherwise.”
Proceeds from the annual CSEUB golf tournament in August will be added to the endowment, De Angelis added, and the department is reaching out to other athletics alumni for contributions as well.
In a pregame ceremony at the alumni game, Sherratt was presented with a certificate commemorating the establishment of the endowment. Two teams of baseball alumni faced off, most graduates from the past decade, and the close nine-inning battle ended with a score of 10-9.
Though Sherratt didn’t play, he did throw out the first pitch — as an assistant coach for Alameda High School, he still keeps his pitching arm in shape.