5 April, 2000

Contact: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456; mstepanovich@csub.edu




President's Medal honorees are recognized for service to CSUB


Gregory D. Bynum, Virginia Church and Helen Hawk Windes were named as 2000 recipients of the President's Medal given by California State University, Bakersfield at the annual President's Associates Dinner Wednesday night at Seven Oaks Country Club.

A crowd of nearly 200 applauded the award recipients as they received their medals from CSUB President Tomas Arciniega.

"It is an honor and a pleasure for me to present these medals to these outstanding individuals," Arciniega said. "The President's Medal is awarded for leadership, commitment and service to the university, and I can't think of more deserving people."

Virginia Church has provided a $100,000 gift to the Cal State Bakersfield Foundation in memory of her late husband, H. Victor Church, for an endowment fund to support the California Well Sample Repository on the CSUB campus. She also established a scholarship endowment in geology in memory of her Medalhusband in 1998.

Victor Church was instrumental in establishing the repository in 1976 and served as a director from its founding. The Well Sample Repository is a collection of oil-well drilling cores from throughout California, principally from Kern County. The repository is a geologic library used by students, scholars and professional geologists from throughout the state and the nation. Church was a geologist for more than 50 years, most of that time spent in Kern County. He is credited with geologic work that led to discovery of the North Antelope Hills oil field and new pools in the Midway-Sunset and Antelope Hills oil fields as well as major development of the Semitropic oil field. He died in 1997.

Mrs. Church met her husband while they were both attending Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. She majored in drama; he was a geology major. They were married after their graduation, and she taught high school English and drama for a time in Minnesota. The Churches moved to Bakersfield in 1945.

She and her husband served for 13 years on the board of Community Concerts in Bakersfield. She was also active in Bakersfield Community Theater, playing the lead role in a couple local theater productions. She is a member of the American Association of University Women, and served for many years on the AAUW board of directors. Following her more than 50 years of membership in the AAUW she was accorded honorary member status.

Helen Hawk Windes, a Bakersfield philanthropist and world traveler, has given $1 million to the California State University, Bakersfield honors program, the largest gift to a CSUB academic program in the university's history. The program has been renamed the Helen Louise Hawk Honors Program in her honor.

Mrs. Windes, who came to Bakersfield in 1968, is a Chicago native who earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. She worked as a reporter for the Southtown Economist in Chicago and the Valley Times in North Hollywood. She was a public relations representative for Pan American World Airways in Los Angeles, and served as an information specialist for the Military Air Transport Service at Hickam Air Force Base near Honolulu, Hawaii.

She is the former president of the Kern County Republican Women and former president of the Sustainers of the Assistance League of Bakersfield. She is a member of Chi Omega sorority and the First Presbyterian Church of Bakersfield.

Bynum, chairman of the CSUB Cornerstone Campaign executive committee and a CSUB alumnus, is, along with his wife, Mary, one of the pioneer students at CSUB and a leader in the Bakersfield business community. A 1972 business administration graduate, Bynum was named outstanding graduate from the School of Business and Public Administration in 1991. He and his wife have been active supporters of CSUB since their graduation, and chaired the Annual Fund campaign in 1994.

In addition to leading the $11 million Cornerstone Campaign, Bynum is a director of the Cal State Bakersfield Foundation. He served on the President's Advisory Council, Alumni Association Board of Directors, and currently is a director of the Roadrunner Club. He chairs the Bakersfield Appraisal Institute's Scholarship Endowment Fund at CSUB.

Bynum is president and owner of Gregory D. Bynum & Associates, a real estate development company. He also is a member of the board of directors of the Bakersfield Wine Society.