The Adams State University Foundation values individuals and organizations that provide financial assistance for Adams State students as they achieve their academic goals. Established by Robert Hoag Rawlings Sr., the Robert Hoag Rawlings Foundation has been a strong supporter of Adams State for decades and are the recipients of the 2020 Willis Fassett Jr. Corporate Award.

Robert Hoag Rawlings Sr.
Robert Hoag Rawlings Sr.

For years, the RHR Foundation contributed to other scholarships before they established their own scholarship for Adams State students in 2007.

Since the beginning of the RHR Foundation, education was of major importance to the board and it has continued for over 30 years. “The opportunities that higher education can offer individuals are among our biggest priorities and will continue to be,” said RHR Foundation Executive Director Andrea Aragon. “Higher education is especially critical to those living in rural areas.”

Through their scholarship, the RHR Foundation helps students begin a path of self-sufficiency and an overall better quality of life. “Education is the big equalizer that can have a positive impact on our scholarship recipients, their families, and their children for generations to come,” Aragon said.

Recipients of the RHR Scholarship must be a journalism or business major, which is a tribute to the Pueblo Chieftain that helped create the Foundation. The Rawlings Family believes cultivating students interested in journalism and business will help attract and retain talented professionals to the industry.

The Willis Fassett Jr. Award is named in honor of the late Willis Fassett Jr., who was a long-time president of the ASU Foundation Board of Directors. “The RHR Foundation is very honored to be recognized with the Willis Fasset Jr. Award,” Aragon added. “We feel grateful to be a partner with Adams State University to provide students from the Valley and all over the country with higher education opportunities at a quality institution.”

The RHR Foundation mission focuses on assisting nonprofit organizations improve the lives of people. ASU and the RHR Foundation share two critically important values – the importance of education which has the incredible ability to improve the lives for all, as well as the importance of athletics. Robert Hoag Rawlings Sr. believed that athletics provide a great foundation to help students thrive in academics, teach discipline, hard work and perseverance. “Mr. Rawlings would be proud to be able to help an institution that has made such a difference for so many,” Aragon added.

Located in southern Colorado, the RHR Foundation is dedicated to supporting rural areas and issues that impact rural life including water rights, land conservation, and the preservation of outdoor recreation.

John W. Rawlings, father to Robert Hoag Rawlings Sr. was a native of the San Luis Valley and attended Monte Vista High School. According to Aragon, the Valley holds a special place in the heart of the RHR Foundation. “This is a way to give back to those communities that made the Chieftain one of the strongest newspapers in the nation.”