When Dr. Marvalene Hughes became President of California State University, Stanislaus in 1994, she expressed a determination that more students be given the opportunity to realize their higher education dreams.
That vision for attracting many of the region's top students to CSU Stanislaus is starting to pay off as the University has dramatically increased its scholarship pot, thanks to successful fund-raising efforts over the last three years. Nearly 400 CSU Stanislaus students received more than $450,000 in scholarships in 1998-99 and that number is expected to surpass the $650,000 mark during the current year.
With CSU Stanislaus students also receiving another $250,000 a year in scholarships from off-campus programs, that adds up to nearly $1 million in scholarship funding alone. President Hughes is confident that the University's scholarship campaign will grow even more in the near future.
"People in this region are helping a great number of students attain their dreams of earning a degree through their contributions to programs that benefit scholarship funds," Dr. Hughes said. "A continuing commitment to increasing student access to higher education will remain a top priority at CSU Stanislaus."
Scholarship assistance was up in 1998-99 by nearly $135,000 over the previous year and will almost double from the 1997-98 mark with this year's increase of more than $200,000. The increases have enabled the University to add some 200 additional students to its scholarship assistance programs during that three-year span.
Accounting for much of the growth have been significant increases in the Mary Stuart Rogers Scholarship Program for teacher education, liberal arts, and honors students, the Talent Scholarships Program for students in academic disciplines and for student athletes, and the President's Academic and Leadership Scholarship Awards established by President Hughes for the area's valedictorian scholars and student leaders.
The Marjorie Bright Scholarship Program sponsored through the Bright Foundation as a family tradition has provided a number of scholarships annually at CSU Stanislaus.
Ongoing efforts to expand endowed scholarships also are paying off. For example, the recently established Stephanie Kramer Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a student majoring in Communications Studies. In December, Foster Farms established the $500,000 Tom Foster Memorial gift endowment that goes to students in Economics and Business Administration majors.
Significant fund-raising efforts, spearheaded by Dr. Walter Strong, Vice President for Development and University Relations, have brought $13 million to the University over the past three years and paved the way for scholarship funding to grow. Gifts from the private sector and proceeds from special events such as the Bill Cosby concert last May have added to the fund-raising success.
"CSU Stanislaus is moving toward its goal of achieving and maintaining excellence, thanks to Walter Strong's leadership in raising the money this University needs to provide access to higher education in this region," President Hughes said. "The University has enhanced investment, collaboration, and partnership with the private sector that has paid off in more scholarships for students."
With nearly 60 percent of CSU Stanislaus' more than 6,000 students receiving some kind of financial assistance, the demand for scholarships is increasing along with enrollment growth. Students received more than $19.7 million in federal and state grants, loans, and scholarships in 1998-99 and that number is expected to surpass the $20 million mark during the current school year.
The Rogers Scholarship Program has experienced phenomenal growth over the past three years, having nearly doubled the number of recipients of the annual $3,500 award, according to Christine Hollister, Director of Advancement Services. Seventy-one students will receive more than $240,000 in scholarships through the program this year and nearly 200 CSU Stanislaus students have been recipients of Rogers Scholarships since the fund was established with 20 awards in 1991.
Many of the Rogers recipients are the first in their families to attend a university and a number of them are parents raising families. The scholarships enable them to devote the time necessary to attaining their degrees and earning teaching credentials, Hollister noted.
President Hughes has placed a strong emphasis on attracting the area's top high school scholars with scholarships in an effort to keep academic talent in the region.
The President's Academic and Leadership Scholarship Program provides area high school class valedictorians who enroll at CSU Stanislaus with $2,500 scholarships and student body presidents receive $1,000. Top academic achievers from community colleges in the University's six-county region also receive scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000 annually.
The Presidential scholarship fund has been boosted by ongoing financial contributions from University Foundation Board member Ernie Gemperle of Turlock. Gemperle has also established the Anne Marie Gemperle Memorial Scholarship endowment in tribute to his wife who died last year.
Through the current 1999-2000 school year, 51 of the Presidential scholarships have been awarded to high school graduates in the University's six-county area and 44 are still enrolled at CSU Stanislaus. Five of this year's new scholars have been admitted to the University's newly revamped honors program, which provides special classes and sessions for top students.
"If you can draw good students by providing scholarships, they excel in the classroom and are more likely to be involved in the University and its activities," said Dr. David Keymer, Vice President/Dean of Students. "That makes the University a more vibrant, challenging, and exciting place to be for everyone involved."
In addition, Dr. Strong has just announced that incoming freshman honors students will be awarded scholarships in recognition of their achievements.
Increased fund-raising focus is expected to help make the University competitive in attracting talented athletics and arts students. CSU Stanislaus has awarded $137,000 in athletic scholarships for the 1999-2000 school year, having started that program in 1998-99 with $50,000 in awards. The Music Department awards more than $25,000 a year in scholarships, a number of them provided through endowment funds that have grown in recent years.
Information on establishing scholarships or contributing to scholarship funds is available through the Development and University Relations office, (209) 667-3131.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News