David Gardner Memorial Scholarship
When David Gardner passed away in 2010, his family created the David Gardner Memorial Scholarship. He was a proud Fresno State graduate, and avid Bulldog fan. He loved teaching and coaching students at Orosi High. Encouraging Orosi High graduates to continue their education at Fresno State is his family’s way of honoring his memory.
Dave was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. He was the third of five children born to Bud and Gertrude Gardner. Always a motivated and adventurous soul, he enjoyed playing sports. He graduated from San Leandro High School in1960, where he played football, basketball and baseball. His football team won the Southern Alameda County Athletic League in 1958 and 1959, and Northern California Champions in 1959. His senior year football team was undefeated. He was chosen to be on the A.C.A.L. Southern Division All-Star teams both years.
He earned a football scholarship to San Jose State. After his freshman year, he transferred to Chabot Junior College where he played on that new school’s first football team. He was season co-captain, and voted most inspirational. He earned his AA degree at Chabot, and went to Fresno State College on a football scholarship. He played on the 1964 and 1965 Bulldog teams. Dave graduated in 1966 with a BA degree in Physical Education. That fall he began his student teaching at Hoover High School before being drafted into the Army in February of 1967, during the Viet Nam War.
He met his wife, Jean Richardson Gardner while at Fresno State. They were married in 1967. Jean grew up in Cutler, CA and graduated from Orosi High School, COS, and Fresno State.
After Dave was honorably discharged from the Army, they returned to California and both were hired by Cutler-Orosi Unified School District in 1969. He taught P.E., Science and Math at Orosi High, and coached football and baseball, and basketball. He taught in the classroom for 29 years before becoming Assistant Principal in 1997. In all his years at Orosi, he was well respected by his students and admired by his colleagues and the community. Jean taught fourth grade most of her teaching career at Palm School.
Dave returned to Fresno State to earn two Masters Degrees in Physical Education (MA 1974) and Environmental Health Science (MS 1979), and was working on a third masters in Administration when he retired in 2000.
Dave remained an avid Bulldog fan the rest of his life, and rarely missed a football or baseball game. He was at the Freedom Bowl when the Bulldogs beat USC. He was in Omaha in 2008 when the Diamond Dogs won the College World Series. He enjoyed collecting marbles, movies, camping, fishing, skiing, water sports, river running, tennis, maintaining his yard, traveling and spending quality time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Dave and Jean were blessed with a daughter and son-in-law, a son and daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren.