Mary Quam was born and raised in Danville, Illinois. She graduated from Iowa State University where she received her B.S. degree (1957) in Institutional Management. She became a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) in 1959. She worked as a Food Supervisor at Stouffer Restaurant Corporation between 1958 and 1961. She received her M.S. degree (Institution Administration) at Michigan State University in 1962. She was hired as an instructor at Purdue University in Institution Management and completed her Ph.D. degree there in 1966. She continued her teaching career as Associate Professor at Purdue until 1971.
In 1971, Mary was appointed Associate Professor in The Human Nutrition and Foods Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She taught there until 1976. Mary married Charles (Chuck) E. Hawkins, and they moved to San Diego, California. Chuck had adopted a son, Charlie, a Vietnamese refugee. Mary, Chuck and Charlie settled in Solana Beach, a coastal town north of San Diego.
Mary Quam Hawkins (married name) was hired as a lecturer at San Diego State University in the School of Family Studies and Consumer Sciences, where she taught students in the areas of food and nutritional sciences. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1978. She taught in the areas of food service and food management and developed special studies field experiences for students interested in clinical and management strategies in hospital dietetics.
Dr. Hawkins served as thesis advisor and participated in grants/contracts funded by the California State Department of Education and was a co-investigator of a contract funded project for the U.S. Army Natick Research and Development Command. She was an active member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and was elected to the ADA Council of Education National Committee.
Mary’s productive professional life was cut short by her untimely death in May of 1987 at the age of 51. Mary’s husband Charles E. Hawkins passed away in 2007.
As a memorial to their daughter, Mary’s parents, Sidney and Marvine Quam, gave
$250,000 to establish an endowment which funds Mary Quam Hawkins Memorial Scholarships (undergraduate & graduate). As a result, Mary’s family left a lasting legacy for students in food and nutritional sciences (Foods & Nutrition, Nutritional Sciences) at San Diego State University.
- The number of scholarships awarded will be determined by the scholarship committee.
- The Mary Quam Hawkins Memorial Scholarship has a value up to $2,000.
- Must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.00.
- Open to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in M.S in Exercise Physiology & Nutritional Sciences and M.S. in Foods and Nutrition/or B.S. in Nutritional Sciences.
- Award renewal is not automatic. Prior recipients must reapply for consideration.
- Graduate and undergraduate students must be enrolled at least half-time.
- Recipients must have financial need, as determined by the SDSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
- To be considered, applicants must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) or the California Dream Act Application by January 1st.