January 24, 2013 by Art Ruiloba, NMSU News Center
New Mexico State University’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management received a new endowed scholarship in honor of the late Giovanni DiPonzio, a Southern California businessman and owner of Giovanni Tours Incorporated. He passed away in 2010.
Max Myers, a member of the school’s advisory board along with his wife, Linda, took the initiative to start the endowment to honor their friend and professional colleague.
“Giovanni was a gifted and devoted professional who had so much passion for the hospitality and tourism profession. This endowment is a tribute to his work in the industry,” Myers said.
The endowment was started with an initial gift from Max and Linda Myers with additional contributions made by those who also remember Giovanni’s commitment to the industry. For the next five years, Max and Linda have pledged to grow the scholarship so that it reaches a total of $10,000.
Janet Green, director of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, said the endowment is significant to the students, but more importantly it preserves the legacy of a great individual.
“Those who had the opportunity to travel with Giovanni were students of the world, its culture and the intricacies of fine food and wine,” Green said. “Max and Linda Myers, NMSU alumni, have provided great leadership in assisting students who want to walk in their shoes, by one day traveling and experiencing other cultures.”
Green said the Myers’ philanthropic efforts in creating the endowment and assisting students with their financial needs is greatly appreciated.
Linda Myers said Giovanni became a friend to everyone who met him and he made a positive impression on people’s lives. She said Giovanni made every effort to accommodate his clients and always exceeded people’s expectations.
“He had this special gift to make people feel special,” Myers said.