Rolando Sanabria

Passing the Torch: Rolando Lights a Brighter Future

What do you do when your mother is an alumna of Chapman University and your grandfather was a gardener for the legendary Charles C. Chapman himself? You attend Chapman University, of course.

Armed with a scholarship and determined to make a difference, Rolando ’24 is continuing the Chapman legacy by following in his family’s footsteps.

Born and raised in nearby Anaheim, Rolando was always aware of Chapman’s reputation, and growing up, he heard stories from his family about the university’s special touch and status as a respected institution. With his family’s deep-rooted connections to the school, Rolando felt a sense of destiny guiding him toward this extraordinary educational opportunity.

“I chose Chapman because of its proximity to home and the ability to be involved on campus and close to my family,” Rolando said. “I wanted an intimate experience with classmates and professors.”

After transferring from Fullerton College, Rolando became a double major in political science and strategic and corporate communication at Chapman. As a commuter during his first year, Chapman offered him the ideal balance between involvement and a sense of belonging. However, it was the sense of community that captured his heart. Coming from a high school experience where he never expected to be involved, Rolando was amazed by the passion exhibited by his fellow Chapman students. 

“The inspiration I found within the community pushed me to strive for personal growth and motivated me to give back to incoming students,” he said.

One of Rolando’s experiences was as a career peer advisor with Chapman’s Office of Career and Professional Development. This was instrumental in his personal and professional growth and allowed him to help fellow students while navigating his career journey.

“At Chapman, everyone has a passion,” Rolando said. “That inspiration encourages me to push forward.”

Beyond this role, Rolando immersed himself in campus activities. He holds leadership positions in social and professional fraternities, where he has learned lessons in professional development and interpersonal relationships. His involvement as an orientation coordinator and his work in the academic advising center further solidified his commitment to making a difference in the lives of his peers. 

Rolando’s dedication to building connections and fostering a sense of belonging has impacted the Chapman community.

“You really get to build bonds and connections with teachers and classmates,” he said. “The community is special.”

A recipient of the trustee scholarship for transfer students, Rolando is grateful for the generosity of Chapman Fund donors. 

“The scholarship has provided me with peace of mind and allowed my parents to support my educational journey wholeheartedly,” Rolando said. 

He recognized the importance of scholarships in enabling students from diverse backgrounds to attend distinguished institutions like Chapman, and he was excited to be part of a growing number of local students benefiting from such opportunities.

“I’ve noticed an increase in the number of local students attending Chapman,” Rolando said. “This is super special, and that growth will help Chapman even more to be a prime institution.”

Looking ahead, Rolando aspires to attend law school, fueled by his passion for higher education and desire to effect change on a broader scale. He credits Chapman for equipping him with the necessary skills for success, from professional development to global citizenship. Meeting influential figures like Condoleezza Rice during his time at Chapman has reinforced how to be a strong individual and make an impact.

“Attending Chapman has taught me valuable lessons about relationships and to be ready for whatever life throws at me,” Rolando said. “I am prepared to conquer the world.”

Would you like to help students like Rolando fulfill their potential and create a brighter future for themselves and their communities? Donate today to the Chapman Fund.


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