March 16, 2017
Contact: Natalie Schaefer
Strategic Development Initiatives
Underrepresented minority students admitted to Cal Poly for the 2017-18 school year will be eligible to receive a total of $2 million in scholarships through the California Community Foundation, one of the top 100 private, nonprofit charitable organizations in the nation by asset size and total giving.
The two scholarship funds will benefit Cal Poly students exclusively. These scholarships will also enhance campus diversity initiatives and outreach to attract African-American, Hispanic-Latino, Native American and Hawaiian-Pacific Islander students. More than half of all California public high school graduates are Latino or African-American.
More than 20 students will benefit from the two scholarship funds over the next five years. Awards for the entire $2 million, which will be administered by the California Community Foundation on behalf of the anonymous donors, will be announced later this year.
“We are extremely excited by these opportunities that will benefit some of the best and brightest underrepresented students in our state and nation,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “We’re thankful for these gifts to our students and look forward to welcoming more than 20 new scholarship recipients to campus this fall.”
The merit-based scholarships are open to all qualifying students conditionally admitted for the 2017-18 school year. The California Community Foundation will select top students for each fund and will administer both funds.
The first fund, the Cal Poly SLO Elijah J. McCoy African-American Engineering Scholarship, honors the 19th century African-American inventor best known for developing lubrication devices used to make train travel more efficient. This fund will benefit African-American students in the university’s College of Engineering, with renewable awards of $20,000 a year for five years, or potentially up to $100,000 per student.
The second fund, the Meritorious Cal Poly Scholars Fund, will benefit underrepresented minority students, including African-Americans, Hispanic-Latinos, Native Americans or Hawaiian-Pacific Islanders. Each qualified student can receive up to $15,000 a year, or potentially $75,000 over five years.
The California Community Foundation has served as a private, nonprofit charitable organization since 1915, empowering donors to pursue their own personal passions. Two such funds benefit underrepresented minority students at the University of California: The UCLA Black Alumni Association Winston C. Doby Legacy Scholarship and the UCLA School Of Law Marco Firebaugh Dream Fund.
The private organization oversees more than 1,600 funds and nearly $1.5 billion in assets. Since 2000, it has received more than $2.2 billion in donor contributions and given out almost $2 billion in grants, making it the fourth-largest community foundation in the U.S. based on total giving.
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