Siblings, Jim and Liz Belenis, originally established the George Belenis Memorial as a football team meal fund in memory of their father, George. While he did play football at UC Davis, George was best known for his long-standing support of Aggie Football and is fondly remembered by scores of players for the many meals he personally shared with them.
Jim and Liz were inspired to establish the endowed funds to provide lasting meal support for the Aggie Football teams in George's memory and to encourage others with the same love of both George and Aggie Football to help assure that future UC Davis football players were well nourished.
The structure of the Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) budget changed over time and money no longer was needed to provide food for the football players since the funding came out of the department budget. The Belenis Family changed the meal fund purpose to help provide a grant-in-aid to continue supporting Aggie Football.
The scholar-athlete chosen for this award exemplifies what the family wanted to honor in George's memory.