When Vidal Arroyo arrived at the Leatherby Libraries on the morning of Thursday, May 2, he thought he was just going to have a chat with the Dean of the Leatherby Libraries Charlene Baldwin. After all, when they’d met at the inaugural Chapman University Phi Beta Kappa ceremony the week before, Dean Baldwin had chatted with him briefly, then told him that she wanted to learn more about him. And why wouldn’t she? Vidal is a first-generation student, is Chapman University’s first-ever Rhodes Scholar, whose research in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has led to him receiving an extraordinary achievement. But Dean Baldwin had a surprise waiting for Vidal.

Dean Baldwin took Vidal to the 3rd floor of the Leatherby Libraries, in the Onnolee Elliott Library of Science and Technology, where members of Chapman University’s Town & Gown, Vidal’s professors, and his parents, were waiting. They all then revealed to Vidal that long time Chapman supporter and friend Mr. Eric M. Scandrett, who serves on the Board of Directors for Town & Gown and served as their president from 2003 to 2005, had chosen to celebrate Vidal and his achievements with a study carrel named in his honor.

A woman on the left shakes the hand of a young male college student on the right, handing him a wrapped, framed photo, while people look on from the background.

Dean Charlene Baldwin (left), presents Vidal Arroyo ’19 (right) with the study carrel named for him.

Eric M. Scandrett first learned about Vidal when he read about him in the Chapman University Magazine earlier this year. He then heard Vidal speak in February at the yearly dinner of the Charles C. Chapman Legacy Society, where he was blown away by his eloquence and passion. He immediately approached the Leatherby Libraries about honoring Vidal before his graduation to make sure that his legacy remains on the Chapman University campus.

Also in attendance were Nancy Fleeman, President of Town & Gown, her husband Ray Fleeman, and two of Vidal’s professors, Dr. James Brown, of the Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Attallah College of Educational Studies, and Dr. Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith, of the Schmid College of Science and Technology and the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.

Seven adults (four men and three women) stand behind and around a seated woman and young man, who is holding a framed photo.

Left to right: Ray Fleeman, Eric M. Scandrett, Dr. Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith, Dean Charlene Baldwin, Alicia Arroyo, Vidal Arroyo, Dr. James Brown, Nancy Fleeman, David Arroyo.

Vidal was also surprised by his parents, Alicia and David.

A young male college student stands, smiling and holding a framed photo, between his mother and father.

Left to right: Alicia Arroyo, Vidal Arroyo, David Arroyo.

This is the fifth study carrel with which Eric M. Scandrett has honored a member of the Chapman University community. The Leatherby Libraries currently holds a total of 48 study carrels, 43 of which have been named in honor of someone. This project started in 2012 as part of the 150th anniversary of Chapman University. To learn more about the study carrel naming project, and to name a study carrel after someone of your choosing, click here. Congratulations, Vidal! We here at the Leatherby Libraries wish you all the best in your studies and adventures!

An older man on the left and a young man on the right flank a study carrel with a small plaque naming the young man.

Eric M. Scandrett (left) and Vidal Arroyo ’19 with the study carrel named for Vidal by Eric.