Save Our Students (SOS) Scholarship

$20,000 Challenge

Photo of John Mathews

Thanks to his SOS Scholarship, John ’13 graduated and is now an engineer at Tesla.

Your gift of any amount will help secure the $10,000 match and provide 21 SOS Scholarships this fall.

The Challenge - Raise $20,000 by June 30, 2014

The founders of the SOS Scholarship have agreed to donate another $10,000 to the scholarship if we can raise $20,000 by June 30, 2014. Your gift will help us secure the match so that 21 more students can stay in college and complete their degrees.

How to Give

You can make a gift to the SOS Scholarship online.

The SOS Story

Alumnae establish SOS Fund to help more CSUEB students graduate

  • April 29, 2014

As they saw state support for public higher education drop and student fees rise in 2011, Cal State East Bay alumnae Luanne Rotticci (B.S. Business and Kinesiology, ’87) and Liza Jane MacNaughton (B.A. Spanish, ’90) were appalled to think what it would mean for CSUEB students who were close to graduation but would be forced to drop out for financial reasons.

Rotticci and MacNaughton took action by founding the “Save Our Students” (SOS) Scholarship Fund, establishing it with their own money while reaching out to friends and fellow alumni.

Three years later the SOS Fund, with $58,000 in gifts and individual scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,500, has enabled 56 students previously in danger of dropping out to remain and graduate. While a tremendous accomplishment for SOS, the need for help proved much bigger; between 2011-2012, there were six to seven times more applicants seeking assistance than scholarship dollars available.

How helpful has the SOS Fund been? John Matthews, a U.S. Navy veteran who fought in the Iraq War and was one of those students in need after losing his job, was able to return to CSUEB to complete his degree.

"I was working at NUMMI (New United Motors Manufacturing, Inc.) when it was closed down," Matthews said. "My family of four faced many challenges as I returned to school. The SOS Scholarship gave me a second chance in life … it gave me the opportunity to stay in school and complete my degree in industrial engineering. With that degree I secured a job at Tesla. I was very proud to be able to make my own gift to the SOS Scholarship Fund this year."

In 2014, Rotticci and MacNaughton have announced a $20,000 SOS Scholarship Fund Challenge. In order to support 21 additional students with $1,400 SOS Scholarships, they will donate an additional $10,000 if the university can raise $20,000 for the fund by June 30, 2014.

Barry Zepel


Please contact Penny Peak, Director, Alumni Relations & Programs at 510-885-4156 or via email.

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Students Can Help!

Class of 2014, in honor of your graduation, Can you give $20.14 to help?

Goal by June 30, 2014
Participation: At least 100 Graduates
Dollars: $2,014

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Alumni, Faculty, Staff and Community Can Help!

Total Goal by June 30, 2014:

Total Raised to Date:
Enough for one extra $1,400 scholarship so far!

Students - How to Apply

Upper division undergraduate students experiencing financial hardship can apply for a $1,400 SOS Scholarship for fall 2014.

Application Deadline:
June 30, 2014

Review the scholarship criteria on the application form.

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