On June 6, 2020, the Circle K International (CKI) community lost an inspirational leader and mentor in Rich Thigpen.
Rich served as Faculty Advisor for University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Circle K for over ten years, an organization based around service and leadership. UCLA Circle K alumni as well as all other CKI alumni are endeavoring to raise at least $30,000 to have a scholarship named in his honor. This scholarship will be supported by the Cal-Nev-Ha Children's Fund (formerly Kiwanis CNH Foundation).
Before Rich became UCLA Circle K Faculty Advisor, he was also a member of Circle K at Auburn University in the Alabama District where he served as an International Trustee from 1989-1990. Once he took a professional position at UCLA, his influence and impact in CKI grew even more. During his tenure as faculty advisor, UCLA Circle K experienced success and growth unparalleled to its history as an organization. With his guidance, the club was able to dedicate thousands of volunteer service hours each year to local foundations and projects. He was able to advise board members in developing large-scale fundraisers and initiatives to support the local community. His impact led the club to achieve a number of awards and accolades, with many members attributing their success to his guidance. Additionally, he truly supported members and personally donated to our fundraisers, whether or not it was affiliated with Circle K. He believed in us and our mission to create a better community.
What made Rich most unique was his commitment to building relationships with CKI members at UCLA and across the Cal-Nev-Ha District. This is evident in his willingness to reach out and mentor members at countless CKI events and programs he planned and attended. He also hosted numerous reunions and alumni events to sustain and strengthen the connections he made with members. Rich continued to create and cultivate a community of leaders to serve and advocate for others beyond their time with UCLA Circle K.
This scholarship fund will go to support students whose dedication to service, fellowship, and leadership will help to continue Rich's work in strengthening and expanding the Circle K community.
Please join us in honoring the legacy of Rich Thigpen by continuing to foster the education of student leaders in Circle K International.