Education

Fred Ruiz of Ruiz Foods honored for his longtime support of UC Merced

Celebrating Fred Ruiz, recipient of the 2018 CASE Fisher Award

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland celebrates Fred Ruiz, recipient of the 2018 CASE Fisher Award for Distinguished Service to Education. Ruiz, co-founder of Ruiz Foods, has been a friend to both UC Merced and Fresno State.
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UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland celebrates Fred Ruiz, recipient of the 2018 CASE Fisher Award for Distinguished Service to Education. Ruiz, co-founder of Ruiz Foods, has been a friend to both UC Merced and Fresno State.

Fred Ruiz, one of the founders of Dinuba-based Ruiz Foods, has received the James L. Fisher Award for Distinguished Service to Education for his support of UC Merced.

The Fisher Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education honors individuals and organizations for “extraordinary contributions to education.”

Ruiz served on the University of California Board of Regents from 2004 to 2016, advocating for central San Joaquin Valley issues like expanding the UC Merced campus.

In a statement from the university, UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland said Ruiz embodies “leadership, generosity, and commitment.”

“Fred is one of those exceptional individuals that truly leads by example, and the University of California and UC Merced specifically have greatly benefited from his thoughtful and enthusiastic engagement,” Leland said.

Ruiz has been a longtime supporter of Fresno State and education as a whole in the Central Valley. He is a founder of the Institute for Family Business, an incubator for family businesses at Fresno State.

Last year, Ruiz Foods pledged $1 million to the Craig School of Business to create Ruiz Foods Executive Classrooms, a space for both students and the community that features “innovative education technology.”

Fresno State president Joseph I. Castro called the gift “transformational.”

The university broke ground on the new classrooms last month.

Castro said that Ruiz is a most deserving recipient of the award.

“The gifts and support that Fred, his family and company have honored Fresno State with over the years have lifted up generations of students,” Castro said. “Fred is an inspirational role model for so many of us because of his success as a business leader and his passionate commitment to expanding educational opportunities in California and beyond.”

Aleksandra Appleton, @aleksappleton, 559-341-3747
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