It all began in the early days when HP people gave the co-founders the Christmas gift of a heifer for their ranch. The little company in Palo Alto, California, had fewer than 150 employees at the time.
"One year they gave us a sleeping bag, and the next year a manure spreader filled with crumpled-up ads." recalls Bill Hewlett.
"But when they gave us the heifer, we felt it would be a more appropriate use of their time, energy and funds to start a scholarship program." Bill and Dave Packard set up "The Hewlett Packard Employee's Scholarship Fund" in December 1951, and the first award was made the following spring.
He adds with a smile, "Sometimes you do something that turns out to be really good!"