Every year, donors provide millions of dollars in scholarships that help students reach their academic goals and build a better future for themselves, their families and California.
When this support is combined with federal and state financial aid, 80 percent of the CSU’s 480,000 students receive some sort of financial aid. Beyond the economic benefit, scholarships inspire students to believe in their potential.
The Trade Desk, a Ventura-based technology company, has established scholarships for rising students at California State University Channel Islands. Jeff Green, the company’s founder and CEO, says that along with aiding students, the scholarships will help Trade Desk maintain a talent pipeline.
“I hire more alumni from CSU Channel Islands than any other university we recruit from,” he says. “The first hires are now managers who have a bunch of CSUCI alumni on their own teams. We’re investing in our collective future when we make investments in education.”
A $50,000 scholarship fund initiated in 2017 by the Crankstart Foundation provides 10 $5,000 scholarships to students whose studies were interrupted for at least five years by circumstances beyond their control and who want to resume their undergraduate education at California State University, Chico. The Crankstart Reentry Scholarship is available both to continuing CSU Chico students and to new transfer students from a community college.
Alumnae of Operation Chicano Teachers (OCT), an initiative launched in 1973 at California State University, Northridge with funding from the Ford Foundation, are paying it forward. Thirteen members of the original group have created Operation Chicano Teachers Scholarship to provide two Chicana and Chicano Studies majors who plan to become teachers grants of $1,000 each.
For three decades, Romaine Purdy has been such a devoted member of the dining services team at California State University Maritime Academy, both on campus and at sea, that cadets and faculty alike call her “Mom.” Wanting to do even more for Cal Maritime cadets, and aware of the financial struggles some face, Purdy has created the Major Alton J. and Romaine “Mom” Purdy Scholarship Endowment to help students in need.
California State University Channel Islands' esteemed nursing program has received a $200,000 grant from the Dr. Richard Grossman Community Foundation to support student scholarships. This follows a $100,000 grant awarded in 2017.
Elizabeth Rice Grossman, widow of the pioneering plastic surgeon who opened the Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles in 1969, says “The Foundation Board thought that if we made an additional grant to bring the fund up to $300,000, it would attract more students who were interested in healthcare and who had a financial need in order to be able to attend nursing school.”
With a $154,000 gift, Kathleen Welsh has established the James F. Welsh Biology Scholarship at Humboldt State University to honor her father’s love of science and teaching. James Welsh began his career at HSU in 1959, teaching genetics and molecular biology, and was a dedicated member of the faculty until 1993. The endowment will fund two annual scholarships to biology, botany and zoology students.
The Mary E. McFadden Nursing Scholarship Fund has been established at San José State University with a $230,000 endowment from the estate of the late Nancy E. McFadden, a SJSU alumna (’84), student body president and former chief of staff to Governor Jerry Brown. The scholarship honors Mary McFadden, a single mother who raised Nancy and her brother Bill while working as a registered nurse.
California State University, San Bernardino alumna Natalia Hale (’09) and her family have established the Optima Family Services Scholarship to help future CSUSB students who are attending the school as DREAMers, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients.
Both Hale and her sister Isabel Kluge (’07) received the CSUSB’s President’s Academic Excellence Scholarship. Given their status as immigrants, no other financial aid was available to them. "The scholarship was the only reason we were able to attend college at all,” says Hale, who is now an attorney. Hale and her family created their new scholarship through Optima Family Services, their family-owned company, which provides services to families in need.
David and Annette Jewell, proud parents of California State University Maritime Academy 2014 alumna Alexandra Jewell, who’s currently sailing for Military Sealift Command, have endowed a scholarship fund for Cal Maritime’s newly created School of Marine Transportation, Logistics and Management. “We were blessed to have grandparents set up funds early in our daughter’s life,” says Annette. “Establishing an endowment to pay it forward just made sense. We want to be part of Cal Maritime’s future and have a small impact for years to come.”
Every year, the faculty and staff of the College of Education at California State University, Dominguez Hills prepare hundreds of students to become K-12 teachers. For some, their impact on students is profound. Farah Fisher, Ed.D. and the late Hilda Fetcenko, Ed.D. are among these.
Fisher, who retired in 2016 as professor and department chair in the College of Education’s graduate education master’s program, has donated more than $20,000 to create an endowed scholarship to support students in the graduate education program.
Fetcenko, a CSUDH alumna, was a longtime dedicated faculty member in the university’s Teacher Education Program and also taught bilingual education for the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District. After her 2016 death from cancer at the age of 53, her colleagues, husband and friends established the Hilda Fetcenko Memorial Endowed Scholarship to provide funding every year for a CSUDH student working on a bilingual-education certification.
Thanks to a profound act of generosity by California State University, East Bay Professor Emeritus Ted Alper, every graduate student in good academic standing who started the university’s school psychology program in 2017 will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Professor Alper taught at CSU East Bay for 34 years. In 2013, his son died in a bike accident, a tragedy that led the professor and his late wife to re-evaluate their end-of-life financial planning. Professor Alper decided he wanted to give 50 percent of his inheritance to California students, earmarking funds for the university and department where he had spent almost his entire career.
He hopes his donation will inspire others to consider donating a portion of their estate to support first-generation college students and programs that address the needs of low socioeconomic communities. “Not everybody can give 50 percent like I can,” he says. “But I know a lot of people who could give a small percent to those who are less fortunate, and I would hope that more would consider it.”
Helen Rucker, an 86-year-old retired teacher, librarian and community activist, has been providing $1,000 in scholarships to California State University, Monterey Bay every year since 1998. She established the James Rucker Scholarship in memory of her late husband, who served in the military and, through the GI Bill, went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San José State University. In 2011 Rucker made a gift of $25,000 to endow the scholarship. Many of the scholarship recipients are military veterans or the children or grandchildren of people who have served.
The Stone of Hope Scholarship has been established by Charles Carter, the recently retired director of the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center at California State University, Chico and a 1980 alumnus. The scholarship will celebrate emerging student leaders who demonstrate leadership, resilience and a commitment to diversity and community service.