Economics Professor Emeritus Finds Ways to Keep on Giving


Economics Professor Emeritus Finds Ways to Keep on Giving
Credential grad student Tina Jones works with Tiffany Miller at the Motor Development Clinic in August.
Jeremy Dudeck pets a dog that acts as a field hockey goalie at the clinic in August.
Professor Emeritus Sidney Blumner

The Motor Development Clinic, which is the longest operating community service program at Cal Poly Pomona, begins its winter session this week.

The center thrives because of people like Professor Emeritus Sidney Blumner and his mother Annette Blumner. Over the years they have given more than $100,000 to the clinic and scholarships for students specializing in environmental or urban economics.

“I am a product of public education,” Blumner says. “I support public schools because they need help, and the students need help. People need to give back to society.”

The clinic, which has operated for 28 years, has helped more than 4,000 children who lack certain motor and social interaction skills.

Named also after his mother's maiden name, The Blumner-Franklin Endowment for Children provides direct scholarships and is used to buy equipment. Since 2001, the Blumners' generosity has helped more than 30 children and their families to participate in the clinic's program, says Perky Vetter, director of the clinic.

“Today's parents are stretched in so many ways, and paying for services for a child with a disability can be overwhelming,” Vetter says. “The Blumner-Franklin Endowment for Children has aided those in need to benefit from a program without having to be concerned about the financial impact. More importantly, the endowment will be there for years to come so that many more children and their families will be able to attend the Motor Development Clinic.”

The center has also been an important training ground for about 1,000 university students learning to work with disabled children.

The Blumners wanted to give to the university in a way that benefited people and is meaningful to their family. They decided to give to the Motor Development Clinic because Annette Blumner worked for about 30 years at a similar school for developmentally disabled children in Watts.

“She was there during the Watts Riots,” Blumner says. “Her interest has always been to help children.”

The Blumners also started two endowed Blumner-Franklin Economics Scholarships for students specializing in urban or environmental economics. Blumner was instrumental in developing the department of economics emphasis in environmental and resource economics. His program has become the most in-depth program on this subject in the CSU.

During his tenure, Blumner served as the economics department chair from 1989 until 1993 and chair of the Environmental Economic Alliance for many years. He was also actively involved in the Faculty Senate, serving as chair, and he served as vice president of the California Faculty Association.

“It was a great career,” he recalls. “Helping students is really a privilege.”

For more information about the clinic and scholarship opportunities visit: http://www.class.cpp.edu/Organizations/mdc/index2.html.