The Spanjian Family Scholarship has been established as a tribute to founding Don Diego board member Bob Spanjian, who continues to serve as Secretary/Treasurer. Spanjian is also a past president and member of the 22nd District Agricultural Association Board, which oversees the Fair and Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Don Diego Chair Paul Ecke II, also a founding board member, reports, “We are establishing the Spanjian Family Scholarship in Bob’s honor. Typically, we award scholarships of $5,000 each to an outstanding, college-bound San Diego County high school senior in each of the four following categories: 1) 4-H member; 2) Future Farmers of America (FFA) member; 3) employee at the Fair, Racetrack or Fairgrounds; and 4) exhibitor at the Fair. This new endowment scholarship will enable us to augment one scholarship each year, providing the most outstanding student with an added $5,000 Spanjian Family Scholarship, for a total of $10,000.”
For decades, Spanjian has been well-known throughout the region for his vision, passion for education, leadership skills, business acumen and financial support of many area nonprofits, especially those involving children. His and his brother Richard’s visionary innovation resulted in the development of Spandex, which DuPont named in the Spanjian family’s honor.
Based on Spandex, Spanjian Sportswear became a leader in its field, producing uniforms for hundreds of college and professional teams, including the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers. The brothers eventually moved Spanjian Sportswear to San Marcos. Bob Spanjian and his wife, Betty, raised a family in Rancho Santa Fe. The brothers sold the company in 1985.