Saint Mary’s has received a $500,000 grant from the Fletcher Jones Foundation to establish a new scholarship fund. The new Fletcher Jones Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund will help qualified under-resourced undergraduates at Saint Mary’s pay for their education.

“Making higher education affordable is a major concern at the College and across the nation. This new endowment reflects Saint Mary’s ongoing commitment to this important issue,” said Saint Mary’s President James Donahue.  “We are extremely grateful to the Fletcher Jones Foundation for establishing this new endowment which will grow over time and continue to provide much needed assistance for deserving students annually.”

Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church’s oldest order devoted solely to teaching and to service to the poor in society, Saint Mary's has a commitment to helping low-income students receive a quality education, with a mandate that at least 25 percent of its undergraduates are Pell Grant-eligible. However, as a result of the economic hardships experienced by the families of many Saint Mary's students during the great recession, such as the loss of jobs and real estate equity, the percentage of Pell Grant-eligible students at the College is now at 27 percent, a rate higher than most of our peer institutions.

"The Fletcher Jones Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund will make a tremendous difference in the lives of our students today and moving forward,” said Interim Vice President for Development Lisa Moore. "Endowment support is a critical piece in meeting the scholarship needs of our students. Over time, endowed scholarships continue to grow, allowing more students to realize their academic dreams. Saint Mary's continues to explore opportunities with like-minded foundations, donors and friends of the College who recognize the importance of creating financial aid assistance for talented students with need."

About five percent of the $500,000 fund will be available in the first year of the endowment for fall 2015-16, providing approximately $25,000 in scholarship funding to help three or more students. As the endowment grows, additional funding will be available. The students will be selected by the Financial Aid Office; no application is required.

The Fletcher Jones Foundation was established in 1969 by Fletcher Jones, co-founder of Computer Sciences Corporation, a worldwide business technology firm. The Foundation’s primary mission is the support of private, independent, degree-granting higher educational institutions in California.

For more information on how to assist talented but under-resourced Saint Mary's students, contact the College's Development Office at (925) 631-4509 or by email at advdevelopment@stmarys-ca.edu.

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