Puebloan Edward L. Ficker establishes scholarship with $100,000 gift to CSU–Pueblo

A life of humility and hard work by a Pueblo businessman will pay future dividends through a scholarship for students at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Kansas native Edward L. Ficker stopped in Colorado on his way to California and never left. Now he has left a legacy at CSU-Pueblo, where he has established a scholarship in his name through a $100,000 gift.

The Edward L. Ficker Scholarship will begin distribution in the Fall of 2010. To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be a U.S. citizen, demonstrate financial need, have earned a cumulative 2.5 grade point average, and may not receive any other scholarship. One scholarship recipient will be selected each year. Recipients will receive full tuition and mandatory fees which can be renewed for up to four years if the student continues to meet the criteria and the Foundation Scholarship Committee approves.

Born and raised in Great Bend, Kan., Ficker completed the 8th grade and held a variety of jobs from service stations to tire shops. He served in the U.S. Army for three years, including a 15-month stint in the Korean War. From 1970-84, he opened a locksmith company in his garage and worked a second job at the Steel Mill. He continued to work at the mill until his retirement in 1991.

Ficker said he wanted to put his money to good use, and he hopes the scholarship will allow a student to concentrate on his studies rather than have to work full time.

“Technology has changed things,” Ficker said. “It used to be you could make a good wage with manual labor, but now it’s brains.”

Ficker regrets not having attended college as he believes it may have provided him with more opportunities and options.

“The course of my life didn’t give me the time. It would have been nice,” Ficker said.

He has three children – Audrey of Brighton, Brian of Fort Collins, and Elizabeth, who graduated from CSU-Fort Collins, and now lives in Denver.

“My kids would say I’m strict, but they knew my expectations,” Ficker said. “My friends would call me hard-headed.”

Hard-headed perhaps, but soft-hearted, according to CSU-Pueblo President Joseph Garcia.

“I am astounded by Mr. Ficker’s generosity, given that he has no direct connection to CSU-Pueblo, other than that our University is located in the community of Pueblo,” Garcia said. “It is apparent that he demonstrated a strong work ethic and a commitment to his family and community throughout his career. How fortunate we are to be able to showcase those values to our students through a scholarship in his name.”

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.