Hewitt to Run Up Tallest Peaks to Help Elevate Pollak Library

Interim University Librarian Will Run Nearly 46 Miles and Climb 15,000 Feet to Raise Funds for Pollak Library

Scott Hewitt running

Hewitt, who joined the CSUF faculty in 1991, is an avid runner and ultra marathoner. Supporters can cheer him on by donating online to the Pollak Library.

UPDATE: Follow Scott Hewitt's progress as he completes "The 3 Peaks Run" on June 20. For more information, visit the Pollak Library website.

Interim University Librarian Scott Hewitt checks off “The List”:

A leaky heart valve, asthma, hereditary fructose intolerance, hypoglycemia, a past serious knee injury, a past serious back injury and arthritis.

Hewitt has each of these ailments and a few more, but the most important thing on his list these days is his devotion to the Pollak Library and “The 3 Peaks Run”.

Hewitt, who is an ultra runner when he is not finding ways to improve the Pollak Library (LOFT) or teaching green chemistry, will attempt to run to the top of the three highest peaks in Southern California — Mount San Jacinto, Mount San Gorgonio and Mount Baldy — on June 20 to help raise money for the library.

“The crazier the run the more interest I think we will get, and hopefully that will lead to more money coming to the library,” Hewitt said. “I also think it could be inspirational to people.”

Hewitt hopes to raise enough money to help fund University Archives and Special Collections projects, hire a student assistant to work in special collections and also augment the student assistant budget. The Patrons of the Library already has committed to match donations dollar for dollar up to $5,000. The goal is to raise at least $15,000. Donations can be made online.

“Special collections is really the jewel of our collection,” Hewitt, who has been a chemistry professor at CSUF since 1991, said. “When I started as interim, special collections had no budget. We have given some money since, but really we should be putting a significant amount of our money toward this unique collection.”

The library hires between 75 and 80 students each year, Hewitt said.

“Our student assistants are working on skills for their future career in real-world-situations,” he added. “The student assistant program here is a win-win for the library and the students.”

But first, Hewitt needs to conquer “The 3 Peaks Run.”

The idea came to Phil Armstrong, chair of the Geological Sciences Department, in 2003 after he and Hewitt completed a one day run/power walk to the top of Mount Whitney.

“It was an idea then, and now I’m doing it, Hewitt said.

He has been training since January, building up his endurance with runs around Fullerton, Chino Hills State Park and now every Saturday up a different peak each week. Though he competed in high school and completed ultra marathons as an adult, the last time he ran an ultra marathon was eight years ago.

“I’m not as fast as I used to be, but I still have the endurance,” he said.

He will start ascending Mt. San Jacinto at 4 a.m. on June 20, aided by a head lamp. Then he will be driven over to Mt. San Gorgonio, the tallest of the three peaks at 11,500 feet, where he will be joined by a few members of the CSUF cross country and track and field team.

And finally Mt. Baldy.

When it is done, he will have run/power-walked 46 miles and climbed 15,000 feet.

“I’m going to do a loop, going up the steepest side of Baldy first and taking a longer route down so I can run it,” Hewitt said. “It should take me 23 hours to complete the entire run, so it will be a very long day.”

So why do it? Hewitt says raising money for Pollak Library is the No. 1 reason, but he admits his love of running is the passion that drives him up those steep trails.

“I love running in the mountains,” Hewitt said. “The longer I go, the better it gets. There are times when I almost feel like I am gliding over the trail.”

Media Contacts:

Scott Hewitt, 657-278-2714, shewitt@fullerton.edu

Hart Roussel, director of planned giving, 657-278-5429, hroussel@fullerton.edu

Michael Mahi, 657-278-5143, mimahi@fullerton.edu


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