Legacy to Future Wildlife Students

Jun, 2023
Kenneth Sanchez has bequeathed a percentage of his estate to Cal Poly Humboldt’s Lowell Diller Wildlife Memorial Scholarship to one day help Wildlife students pay their tuition.

Kenneth Sanchez (‘84, Wildlife) loves saving habitats. He has been helping protect and restore habitats in the United States for over 30 years, and now with a bequest pledge made to Cal Poly Humboldt’s Lowell Diller Wildlife Memorial Scholarship Endowment, he will one day be able to help other Humboldt Wildlife students who are just as passionate about habitat restoration.

"Providing students with education and funding scholarships through the Lowell Diller Scholarship is great because the entire amount goes directly to funding scholarships for deserving students,” Kenneth says.

Lowell Diller was an adjunct Cal Poly Humboldt Wildlife professor who specialized in fisheries, wildlife, and the northern spotted owl. To honor Diller, who died in 2017, a memorial scholarship endowment was established in his name.

“Solving the issues we face in this world requires intelligence and strategic thinking. We should focus on learning, and Cal Poly Humboldt is an excellent place to do that,” Kenneth says.

A bequest pledge is a powerful way to support future generations of students. It can be done by adding bequest language designating Cal Poly Humboldt as a beneficiary to a will or estate plan. Bequest gifts can take many forms, including a designation in your will, a living trust, naming Cal Poly Humboldt Foundation in your insurance policy, or making Humboldt your investment account beneficiary.

Kenneth is grateful for the education he received at Cal Poly Humboldt, and now he would like to help other Wildlife students ensure they receive the same educational experiences without worrying about tuition by including Humboldt in his estate plan, with a percentage of his estate going to the Lowell Diller Wildlife Memorial Scholarship

When it came time to create his will, he thought of charitable organizations he’d like to support and thought Cal Poly Humboldt would be the next great choice for a beneficiary.

“It’s important for me to support students and help them with their tuition. Humboldt is a great school, and I still have many connections there, so I’m proud to support the university,” Kenneth says. “Lowell was a peer in my professional life after graduating from Humboldt, where he served as both a mentor and a friend. When I learned about his scholarship fund, I immediately knew how I could leave a legacy for Wildlife students.”

Kenneth spent his first few semesters shopping for a major but remembered he was always surrounded by animals growing up near the San Gabriel Mountains in Pasadena. His dad owned a pet store and worked with animals in Hollywood productions, and his grandfather had a ranch. This exposure to animals left Kenneth fascinated, so he decided to pursue a Wildlife degree at Humboldt.

“Humboldt had a more holistic and sustainable approach to wildlife conservation. Other programs at different universities in the country focused on game animals and growing and producing wildlife to hunt and fish later on,” Ken says. “At Humboldt, we were more focused on sustainability, ecology, and ethology aspects of wildlife management.”

At Humboldt, Kenneth was surrounded by legendary Wildlife professors such as Stanley “Doc” Harris, Archie Mossman, David Kitchen, and Richard Genelly, who all influenced and taught him the principles he needed to know for his career in wildlife management.

After graduating, Ken worked as a field biologist chasing birds and fish in California, Oregon, North Dakota, and Alaska. After taking a break from wildlife management, Kenneth began working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a regulator, supervising the permitting aspect of wildlife conservation efforts and ensuring compliance with environmental laws.

Now, Kenneth works with Resource Environmental Solutions (RES), the largest for-profit habitat restoration company in the U.S., on obtaining the proper permitting needed for conservation efforts. At the moment, RES is working to restore the Klamath River after the demolition and removal of four dams.

He is excited and proud of the work he’s doing with RES and hopes to see a thriving river habitat once it’s finished.

To learn more about how your estate gift can make a positive influence on future generations of Cal Poly Humboldt students, visit giving.humboldt.edu, call (707) 826-5200, or email giving@humboldt.edu.

Photo: Kenneth Sanchez has bequeathed a percentage of his estate to Cal Poly Humboldt’s Lowell Diller Wildlife Memorial Scholarship to one day help Wildlife students pay their tuition.