About the Prize

The California Prize Medal

Underscoring USF's commitment to community, the prize is awarded to an individual who models selfless service in pursuit of the common good -- efforts that primarily benefit Californians, especially the poor and marginalized. The Prize was created and endowed through the generosity of USF supporters Susan and Philip Marineau.

"We have endowed the California Prize at USF to support its mission to 'educate minds and hearts to change the world'. We hope our children's children will grow up in a world where educated citizens understand the need to consider others in their choices and how we shape society through our policy decisions. We hope for the realization that service to the common good is a consideration for each of us. We are honored to be a part of this work." - Susan and Philip Marineau

USF is grateful for the Marineau's leadership and generosity regarding the development and implementation of the California Prize at the University of San Francisco.

About the Medal

Alice Waters with Artist Heidi Nahser-FinkThe prize medal was designed and crafted by well-known California medal artist, Heidi Nahser Fink. 'Ms. Fink's work has been shown internationally and she has been commissioned to design one-of-a-kind pieces for several movies including Ocean's 12, Master and Commander, Men In Black I & II, The Patriot, and Wild Wild West. Ms. Fink was assisted by Mr. Peter Morenstein, Cirecast, Inc. on the mold-making process.

The Symbolism of the Medal

Magis = is the Latin word meaning more or more for others. This is a term traditionally used by St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus and current day Jesuits to suggest the spirit of generous excellence striving for the greater good.

Artist Heidi Nasher-Fink with first California Recipient, Lynn FritzIHS = is the primary symbol of the Jesuit order, the founders of the University of San Francisco. IHS are the first three letters in Greek for Jesus. The three nails represent the nails of the cross.

The Bear = Represents the State of California.

Lone Mountain = Represents the University of San Francisco.

You can see the process of making the medal here.