May 21, 2012
By Stephen Trembley
By Stephen Trembley
FRESNO, Calif. --- Melinda and Herb Depp are a driving force that will help allow Fresno State to enhance the daily experience of its student-athletes beginning in the fall of 2013. The Depps, longtime supporters of their alma mater, recently committed $350,000 for construction of the Meyers Family Sports Medicine Center.
Along with the Duncan Building and the Richuitti Center, the Meyers Center will anchor Fresno State's "Student-Athlete Village." The Village is designed to centralize most all student-athlete support functions - inclusive of sports medicine, academic support, strength and conditioning and equipment services - in a single secure location.
The sports medicine component has been specifically designed to facilitate injury diagnosis and treatment, preventive medicine programming, nutritional counseling, an x-ray unit and rehabilitation services.
"Fresno State Athletics is very fortunate to benefit from the tremendous leadership and support of Melinda and Herb Depp," said Fresno State's Director of Athletics Thomas Boeh. "For many years they have embodied the powerful bond between our University and its alumni, while continually contributing to the transformation of Fresno State with their financial support, generous provision of their time, and unyielding passion. Their willingness to support the Meyers Center and the well-being of many future generations of Bulldog student-athletes is indeed very gratifying."
The $6 million capital project was made possible by the Meyers Family's lead gift along with several major benefactors like Melinda and Herb Depp.
"The glue that got us involved was Dr. Welty," Herb said of Fresno State's University President. "He's done more for our University than most know and is a dynamic force for our school. Second is Thomas, who I think the world of. He reaches out to people and really stays connected."
Melinda and Herb's connection to Fresno State began the Friday night before they both began classes in 1962, when a mutual friend introduced them at a dance in the residence hall parking lot. They are now retired and living in Hamilton, Montana, where Herb enjoys hunting, fly fishing and spending time outdoors, but the Depps' affinity for the Bulldogs' program is as strong as ever.
"The Valley was the magnet for us," Herb said. "We enjoy coming back to visit our friends and attend games when we can."
Melinda graduated from Fresno State's acclaimed teaching program and taught for 25 years, including 17 years as a fifth-grade teacher in Northern California's San Ramon Valley Unified School District and helped launch and build the curriculum for a new school.
"Fresno State was a great combination of the right study atmosphere and social life," Melinda said. "I really enjoyed the sorority life at college and to this day keep in contact with many of my sorority sisters. It's always been one of my best memories of college and I love supporting the Bulldogs."
Melinda currently chairs a scholarship committee for the Greater Ravalli Foundation, which annually awards ten $4,000 yearly scholarships.
Herb used his Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Fresno State throughout his professional career, which included nine years in the United States Air Force where he was an officer, pilot and member of the Presidential Squadron. He retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Herb later served in key roles for General Electric, including President of GE Capital Aviation Services and Vice President for Aviation Operations. Prior to joining GE, he was President for Polaris Aircraft Leasing and had worked for the McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Company.
Melinda and Herb have two daughters, Ashley and Lindsay, who both grew up in Danville, Calif.
Ashley graduated from Southern Methodist University and also received a Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine. She currently is Vice President for DVD Marketing at Universal Studios and lives in Studio City with her two and a half year old son, Addison.
Lindsay graduated from the University of San Francisco and worked in the home loan industry. She has two sons, Remington (4) and Preston (2), and resides in Danville with her husband, Ryan, who is a Lieutenant in the San Francisco Fire Department.
The Depp family's impact will be felt by Fresno State student-athletes for generations in all facets of their lives.