Endowed scholarship benefits psychology students, honors former psychology professor

By ESRA HASHEM, Student Writer

A scholarship honoring the memory of former Fresno State professor Alan Button has been established through the Fresno State Alumni Association.

Dr. Lynnette Zelezny, Fresno State provost and academic affairs vice president, founded the memorial scholarship with a $5,000 gift to support students majoring in psychology.

“I wanted to honor the memory of Alan Button by giving back to students,” Zelezny said. “Button was a professor of psychology here at Fresno State and I was very close to him professionally. We were office mates for many years, and he was truly a great friend and colleague.”

Button earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Oregon before completing his Ph.D. at Stanford University in 1953. For the next 57 years, he made his home in Fresno. He worked as a clinical psychologist at Valley Children’s Hospital before joining the Fresno State faculty in 1961. He retired in 1995.

Button is the author of The Authentic Child, a book about childhood psychological development.

He died in October 2010, at age 84.

“He was internationally known, spoke many languages, was a world traveler and an author. It’s quite amazing for a Fresno State faculty member to have that kind of notoriety.”

Zelezny said the aim of the scholarship is to create a legacy for Button and support “unique” individuals like him. Students majoring in psychology with a GPA of 3.0 or above have the opportunity to apply for the scholarship.

“He had a great interest in poetry and the arts and was often called the ‘Renaissance man’ because of his passions,” Zelezny said. “I wanted to remember him with a scholarship that honors unique individuals like him — individuals that are curious about the world, individuals who are eclectic, individuals who are passionate about the arts and learning and language.”

To learn more about how to support student success by giving, contact Peter Robertson at probertson@csufresno.edu. Those interested in donating toward the Alan Button Memorial Scholarship can visit http://bit.ly/FSAASupport