Alum Rodriguez supports student-athletes


Rick Rodriguez, ’84 BS, played on the Northern Arizona University men’s basketball team for four years while earning a degree in accountingnow, he is a fixture in the entertainment industry as the Vice President of Finance and Accounting for Sony Pictures Television International Production. Rick credits NAU with the growth and maturity that led to his career success, and in response, he gladly worked with the university to develop a gift close to his heart—a scholarship for student-athletes studying in The W.A. Franke College of Business (WAFCB).


Inspiring action

Rick is motivated to give back because of his own NAU experience, and because he, too, received a scholarship that made attending the university possible.

“I was fortunate and blessed to receive a scholarship,” Rick says. “I quickly learned that the people here really had my best interests at heart.”

The scholarship Rick supports, managed by the WAFCB Dean’s Fund for Innovation, has made a positive difference in the life of senior marketing major Gaellan Bewernick, who also plays for NAU men’s basketball. 

“Receiving the scholarship is an honor,” Gaellan says. “It’s incredible to see an alumnus come back and support a current player."

While Rick and Gaellan play with different styles on the court, it is no wonder that they connected instantly when they met—they have the shared hometown of Los Angeles, the same majors, NAU Basketball, and they are both scholarship recipients. For Gaellan, the scholarship is an inspiration. 

“I look up to Rick, and maybe one day, I can come back and provide financial support to a student like Rick did for me,” Gaellan says.

Making the right assist

Blending classroom instruction with practical, real-world experience, The W.A. Franke College of Business exemplifies how NAU and donors partner to elevate the student learning experience. Donors like Rick demonstrate how The Campaign for NAU can provide support and success to more students through scholarships.

“Receiving the scholarship is an honor. It’s incredible to see an alumnus come back and support a current player…I look up to Rick, and maybe one day, I can come back and provide financial support to a student like Rick did for me.” – Gaellan Bewernick