History of Zonta and Pearson college
In 1977, Shirley Baker, a charter President of the Victoria Zonta Club sat on the Board of LBP College. That year, Victoria Club hosted the District 8 Conference. A motion was introduced that the Clubs in District 8 contribute funds to provide a scholarship to Pearson for a girl from Colombia (at that time, the international project was providing roving medical units in that country). The motion was received with enthusiasm. Jack Matthews, Director of the College, spoke at the closing banquet. This motion was proposed at subsequent conferences and ratified each time.
In 1980, Sannee McFarlane was Victoria’s President and delegate to the District 8 Conference held in Yakima. She took a Pearson student from Turkey with her, Noran Akgoren. They both addressed the conference body. Delegates vote unanimously to fund a scholarship each year and make this a permanent, ongoing District 8 project. District 8 was the first District in Zonta International to have its own project.
In 1990, the District Board designated that the Scholarship should include students from the Eastern Bloc countries and to this date, the scholarship is presented to a female student from either the Eastern Bloc or Colombia.
In 1992, at the District Conference in Anchorage, a motion was passed that contributions from District 8 Clubs be divided 75% to current scholarships and 25% towards establishing a $150,000 endowment which, when reached, would sustain an annual scholarship. More recently, 100% of the funds contributed by the clubs go to the Zonta Pearson Endowment Fund.
In 1992, the District Coordinators for Pearson College have introduced various programs, including pen pals, goody packages for Halloween, Valentines, Easter, Christmas, etc., and a Bed & Breakfast program among Zontians (with revenues going to the Endowment Fund). Additionally, tours and visits to Pearson College have been organized.