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President announces $50,000 matching pledge for scholarship fund

  • November 7, 2012

President Leroy M. Morishita knows the importance of scholarships to students at California State University, East Bay. A California native who was part of the first generation in his family to attend college, Morishita places a very high priority on access, inclusion and diversity in higher education.

“Scholarships are extremely important and necessary to ensure we are doing everything possible to provide access to the university and to assist in the success of our students,” said Morishita. “Receiving a scholarship might be the difference between continuing a college education or dropping out.”

To commemorate Morishita’s investiture as CSUEB’s fifth president, the university established the Presidential Pioneer Endowed Scholarship, a new fund reflecting the institution’s commitment to expanding access to higher education. Scholarships will be awarded to students beginning in the 2014 academic year on the basis of financial need, academic merit, or both.

During an event on the Investiture Day of Celebration, Morishita shared that the endowment total had reached $100,000, and that he and his wife, Barbara Hedani-Morishita, were eager to see it grow even more. They announced a personal pledge of up to $50,000 in support of CSUEB students with a commitment to match gifts made to the endowment by faculty, staff, alumni and friends.

The Morishitas’ challenge match applies to any new or additional gifts made to the endowment fund beginning Oct. 13. For each dollar raised, the president and his wife will make a donation in an equal amount, with a goal of increasing the total scholarship amount to $200,000.

“When the match is met, this will positively affect the lives of even more students on our campus,” Morishita said. Their matching pledge is the largest single gift the university has received from a sitting president to specifically benefit scholarships.

For CSUEB’s first lady, adding their contribution to the scholarship fund was a simple choice. Hedani-Morishita has seen the transformative power of education in her own family and her husband’s family, as well as during her work in social services.

The challenge grant is their call to faculty, staff, friends and particularly alumni to demonstrate support for the students at Cal State East Bay, who have worked hard for the opportunity to earn a college degree only to find rising tuition fees and shrinking support from the state of California.

Gifts to the fund can be made online, by mail or by fax.

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