Doc and Jean Chaffee Fund

About the Doc and Jean Chaffee Scholarship

This scholarship is named after Dr. Paul Chaffee, who served for 28 years as veterinarian and 25 years as director of the Fresno Zoo. The zoo was renamed the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in July of 1990, prior to his death.

Paul Chaffee made major improvements for exotic animals through medical care practices, nutrition, natural habitats, and detailed record-keeping. He was a visionary leader respected by his contemporaries. This scholarship is open to students majoring in a field related to animal science, plant science, or environmental science who want to follow in Paul Chaffee’s footsteps. Jean Chaffee is his widow.

Applications may be submitted via email to or may be mailed to:

Central Valley Community Foundation
Attention: Phuong Bui-Sears
5260 N. Palm Ave., Ste. 122
Fresno, CA 93704

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, April 29, 2022 by 5:00 PM. Mailed applications must arrive by this date.


The Doc and Jean Chaffee Scholarship is open to:

  • Graduating high school seniors entering college majoring in fields related to animal science, plant science, or environmental science
  • Undergraduate and graduate college students majoring in fields related to animal science, plant science or environmental science
  • Adults entering college for the first time, or reentering college, seeking a degree in a field related to animal science, plant science, or environmental science
  • All applicants must be majoring in a field related to animal science, plant science, or environmental science
  • Employees of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and past participants of the summer internship program at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo are encouraged to apply
  • Applicants must demonstrate extraordinary academic growth, financial need, community service, and school participation
  • Applicants must be available for a possible interview with the selection committee. If applicants are unable to meet in person, a Zoom, FaceTime, or phone interview may be scheduled. 

Selection Process

The scholarship committee will judge each application in a nondiscriminatory and objective manner. The following details the criteria the committee will use to judge applications, and the accompanying weight each criterion carries in regards to the committee’s decisions:

  • Academic growth/improvement (50% weight)
  • Community and school activities (20% weight)
  • Financial need (30% weight)

After the committee has scored applications, they may invite applicants for an interview.

Award Notication

All applicants will be notified by the Central Valley Community Foundation by approximately the end of June, 2022, as to whether or not they were selected to receive a scholarship award. Notification is generally performed by email, so please ensure the email address you include in your application is current and that you check it frequently (including your junk mail folder).

Awards Offered for 2022 and Requirements

Up to 7 scholarship awards will be offered, ranging from $500.00 – $2,500.00 per selected recipient. Recipients selected to receive $500.00 payments will receive them in one payment. Recipients selected to receive $1,000.00 – $2,500 awards will receive them in equal payments per semester. All recipients must enroll full-time (generally, this is at least 12 credits, however full-time enrollment may be defined differently depending on your educational institution) to claim their scholarship payment(s). Recipients of multi-semester awards must maintain full-time enrollment and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.85 to qualify for both payments.

 *If the applicant holds a full-time job, then the student hours could be reduced to accommodate for the time at school*