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Osher Foundation gives $1 million for scholarships

January 7, 2005

Photo of a Presidential Scholar perusing a text in the SFSU BookstoreThe Bernard Osher Foundation recently donated $1 million to SFSU to augment funding for the Presidential Scholars program, which awards four-year scholarships to the University's top incoming freshmen every year.

"This gift is in recognition of the significant role that San Francisco State University has played in providing a great education to students from California and elsewhere," said Stephen M. Dobbs, executive vice president of the Bernard Osher Foundation. "The scholarship assistance is directed toward students of high academic achievement and promise."

The Osher Foundation has donated to several SFSU programs, including a previous million-dollar gift to the Presidential Scholars program in the mid-1990s and several grants of $100,000 each for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a College of Extended Learning program for people age 50 and up.

"On behalf of the entire San Francisco State University community, I want to express my gratitude for the Osher Foundation's continued generosity," SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan said. "This latest gift will further enable us to provide aid and support to some of the best, brightest and most enthusiastic undergraduates in California."

A Presidential Scholarship is the University's most distinguished academic award for first-time freshmen. The total value of each scholarship is about $17,000 over four years. Students in the program receive support for up to eight semesters of full tuition fees, aid for housing and textbooks and priority course registration. They take two general education courses together as a freshman cohort and attend special seminars and cultural events to develop academic skills and expand their intellectual experiences.

Admission to the program is based on academic and personal achievement, extracurricular activities in high school and the community, leadership potential and the ability to express oneself effectively. It is open to first-time freshmen and California residents only. Most applicants have a grade-point average of 3.8 or higher and an SAT score of 1200 or higher.

The Presidential Scholars program is also funded by a million-dollar gift from Evergreen Group founder and Chairman Y.F. Chang as well as other smaller donations. An additional annual gift of $100,000 from Chang provides housing funds for students in their first year.

The Bernard Osher Foundation, established by Osher in 1977, seeks to improve the quality of life for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area through programs in the arts and humanities and in K-12, post-secondary and environmental education. Bernard Osher is a businessman and community leader whose philanthropy has benefited Bay Area organizations and the people they serve for more than two decades.

-- Matt Itelson


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Last modified January 7, 2005 by University Communications