University of California, Riverside

UC Riverside Foundation Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards

Hueston M. and Margaret W. Harper Award Fund

Hueston M. and Margaret W. Harper Award Fund


Intercollegiate Athletics D01099


Undergraduate Student Support

History and Purpose:

Hueston Harper was born in New Mexico in 1910, before it became a state. He grew up on a farm in the Rio Grande valley, the stepson of a sharecropper. The nearest school was five miles away over rough terrain so he could not attend until, at ten years old, he was big enough to ride a horse. Young Hueston saw flying machines in the sky and heard music pulled out of the air by a crystal radio apparatus. He realized that powerful ideas were shaping the world beyond his farm. The principal at the school, who was also the basketball coach, impressed on Hueston that education was a way out of poverty. When he completed the eighth grade, his stepfather demanded that he quit school and work full time on the farm. His father, in Los Angeles, offered to support him through high school, so Hueston ran away from home and went to Los Angeles.

At Compton Junior College Hueston came to the attention of the University of Southern California (USC) track coach by beating the USC shot-putter in a dual meet. A track scholarship at USC was a dream fulfilled for Hueston, combining his love of athletic competition with the opportunity for quality education. In his senior year (1934), he was captain of the USC track team and placed second at the national championship (IC4A) meet in Chicago.

In the spring of 1932, when he started working out with the USC track team, Hueston's athletic build and talent caught the eye of the USC football coach. Hueston was concerned about keeping up with his studies if he participated in two demanding sports, but the coach offered a powerful inducement: help in getting a coaching job after graduation. The Great Depression was at its worst and even college grads were unemployed. The USC football team of 1932 was one of the university's all-time greats -- undefeated, untied and national champions. Hueston had the thrill of starting in the Rose Bowl game on January 1, 1933.

Margaret Wilson was born in Michigan in 1912 and grew up in Los Angeles. Education was a big part of her life from the beginning. Her father was a Professor of Electrical Engineering at USC and her mother had been a teacher before she married. Margaret was also athletic but the opportunities for women to compete were very limited. Though her father died in 1921, she and her sister were able to attend USC on scholarship as children of faculty. Margaret majored in Physical Education and minored in English Literature. She often extolled the classical Greek ideal of "a healthy mind in a healthy body".

Margaret and Hueston met at USC and married after graduation in 1935. With the help of the USC football coach, they started their careers as teachers and coaches at Hemet High School. Hueston taught and coached at Orange Coast Junior College from 1950 until he retired in 1965. Margaret taught at Santa Ana High during that time.

They were a team until Margaret died in 2001. Hueston passed away in 2005.

Selection and Guidelines:

The recipient:
May be a male or female freshman, sophomore or junior;
Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 with a declared Program of Study;
Is a member of a UCR intercollegiate athletic team in good standing (i.e., not on suspension).
This award will not discriminate on the basis of sex, race or religion.

Each Head Coach will nominate to the Athletic Academic Coordinator a maximum of two eligible athletes from his/her team.

The final selection will be based upon recommendation by the Athletics Academic Coordinator in conjunction with the Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Selection Committee of which the Athletics Director will be a member. When possible, a member of the Harper family will be involved in the selection process to the extent permissible by NCAA regulations.

There is no application procedure for students. Coaches and the Director of Athletics will notify the student award recipients.

 Request for Information:

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Office of Development
1955 Chicago Avenue, Ste. 200, Riverside, CA 92507

Roberta Albert
Assistant Director for Stewardship and Donor Relations
Tel: (951) 827-5247

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