2023 Civic leadership award recipient

CFSA Honors Dr. William Horst with 2023 Civic Leadership Award

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona is thrilled to announce that Dr. William Horst, one of the founders of the Splendido Residents Association Scholarship Fund, is the 2023 Southern Arizona Civic Leadership Award recipient.

The Southern Arizona Civic Leadership Award honors community members who have gone above and beyond to make Southern Arizona a more inclusive and welcoming place. Recipients of this award have inspired others through their work, volunteerism, and advocacy efforts with diverse or underrepresented communities.

Through his work as a volunteer and leader with the Splendido Residents Association, Dr. Horst has inspired others to give, to learn, and to be active participants in supporting access to education at every level. Dr. Horst has truly gone above and beyond to create opportunities for continued professional development and economic stability that would not have been possible without his generosity, leadership, and dedication.

Dr. Horst moved to Tucson in 1962 after 10 years in the metallurgy industry to join the faculty in the Metallurgical Engineering Department at the University of Arizona. His career as a metallurgical engineer included a wide variety of occupations: research and development, production management, faculty at the University of Arizona, and consultant. Dr. Horst retired in 1984 as Vice President and Director of Research from AMAX Extractive Research and Development.  

In the fall of 2006, Dr. Horst and his wife moved to Splendido at Rancho Vistoso, a continuing care retirement community located in Oro Valley, Arizona. He soon became an active member of the Splendido Resident’s Council and helped establish the Splendido Scholarship Fund. To date, the Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships to support Splendido employees and their families in pursuing continued education and professional development.

When Dr. Horst was notified that he had been selected for this award, he shared, “It is an honor to be the recipient of CFSA’s Civic Leadership Award. I am grateful for the award, especially since it recognizes my many years of service as a founder of the Splendido Residents Association Scholarship Program. This program has been very successful and changed the lives of many Splendido employees and their children. A total of 284 scholarships have been awarded since 2009 with a value of more than one million dollars.” 

The scholarship fund for Splendido began in 2007 when one of the residents suggested that the community establish a fund to support the continuing education of Splendido employees and their children. An ad hoc committee of the Splendido Resident’s Council was formed to explore the merits of the program and what would be necessary to implement it successfully. After it was approved by the Council, the Scholarship Committee moved quickly to raise funds for the initial scholarships, establish the criteria for recipients, and create an application. In April 2009, the Splendido Residents Association Scholarship Fund awarded its first four scholarships.  

“When I learned about the scholarship through Splendido, I saw that I might have a chance to actually attend college, which always seemed like such a far-off thought to me,” shared Kelsey Christensen, a Splendido scholarship recipient. “My parents never set up a fund for me. I was living paycheck to paycheck and didn’t know the first thing about looking for scholarships. When I was approved, it was a really big deal in my family, considering neither my parents nor my three siblings graduated from college or even attended a single college course. I was thrilled and beyond excited because I, being the youngest, was the first to do it.”   

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona is honored to recognize Dr. Horst with the 2023 Civic Leadership Award and to celebrate the many lives impacted through the Splendido Residents Association Scholarship Fund.