Coupled with federal and state financial aid, scholarships ensure that economic status is not a barrier to student enrollment and participation. In fact, nearly 80 percent of all CSU students receive support to pursue their academic goals. In return, graduates are able to provide a better life for themselves and their families and contribute to the California dream.
An $11 million commitment from alumnus Milt Valera and his wife, Debbie, promises to have a transformative effect on California State University, Northridge programs, particularly helping those students who have been in foster care. The CSUN administrative building will be named Valeras Hall in recognition of the Valeras’ gift and their continuing support.
The gift creates an endowment and scholarship for the Milt and Debbie Valera EOP Resilient Scholars Program, which provides a safety net for college students who grew up in foster care, as well as scholarships and endowments in colleges across the campus.
“Some gifts cause ripples to reverberate across a university,” CSUN President Erika D. Beck said. “Through this transformative gift, the Valeras—with their extraordinary depth and breadth of generosity—have made waves of positive impact that wash over our entire campus.”
Seeking to reduce financial barriers for young people from his hometown attending college, alumnus and donor Dan Phillips committed $1 million to generate scholarships for high school students from the Eel River Valley area. Students from all four area high schools (Ferndale, Fortuna, South Fork and South Trinity) are now eligible for scholarships as much as $4,000 each at Humboldt State University.
Phillips, former chief technology officer at Hulu, explained that “HSU played such a significant role in my career journey. It’s where I connected with incredible professors and students. Cultivating those kinds of relationships is so important as you build your career, even as a student.”
Part of his commitment included a $100,000 matching fund challenge. Phillips hopes the challenge will inspire other donors to create similar scholarships for students from Arcata, Eureka and McKinleyville schools.
Alumna Sue Howland established a planned $1.9 million gift that benefits nursing students who are single parents. The scholarship covers the tuition and costs for required books.
Howland made arrangements in her trust to donate the proceeds from the sale of her house to create this endowed fund at San José State University. Designated as the Judy Howland and Sue Howland Nursing Tuition/Books Scholarship, the fund is named after Howland and her mother, Julia (Judy) Howland. Although neither was a woman nurse, both recognized the incredible value and importance of the profession.
“I stand in awe of Sue Howland,” said Audrey Shillington, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. “So many of our students face challenges, working their way through school, often juggling multiple jobs on top of coursework and practicum commitments. Ms. Howland had the insight to recognize that single parents face additional barriers and that they are much more likely to drop out due to all the financial burdens facing them. This gift will change the lives of all the parents who receive it. Beyond this, though, the gift will impact the lives of the students’ children. This will lead to intergenerational transformation.”
A $26,000 gift from longtime California State University San Marcos supporters, Ann
Hunter-Welborn and her husband, David Welborn, will establish the Dolores Huerta
endowed scholarship for students involved in the the campus’s College Assistance
Migrant Program, or CAMP. The program helps students from migrant and seasonal
farmworker backgrounds transition successfully to college. “I think it’s an important
recognition of the contribution that migrants make to our whole society,” Hunter-
The gift is the outgrowth of a meeting between Hunter-Welborn and CSUSM President
Ellen Neufeldt in which they connected over the idea of access to higher education,
especially among underrepresented groups. “Access has always been a big issue and,
I think, in many ways, it’s become a bigger issue in the last year,” Hunter-Welborn said.
“I am grateful that CSUSM has grown to be such an important part of the North County
community and beyond.”