Director of Media Relations
(Moraga, Calif., April 20, 2009) - Saint Mary's College of California has been awarded $100,000 for student scholarships from the William Randolph Hearst Foundations. The new scholarship fund, which will be awarded to students in the 2009-2010 academic year, ensures that many deserving students can continue to afford a Saint Maryâ€™s education during the current global recession.
In these difficult times increasing scholarship awards is one of the highest priorities for the College. As the economy has weakened, Saint Maryâ€™s financial aid officers have heard from students and their families that resources traditionally relied on to afford higher education, such as home equity loans, investments and savings plans, have eroded. Now job loss is also a major threat. Ten percent of the families of entering Saint Maryâ€™s students filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) say at least one family member is now unemployed, which tracks with Californiaâ€™s current rate of unemployment.
â€œThe generous grant from the Hearst Foundations will help stabilize the financial status of students at Saint Maryâ€™s and allow them to continue on with their studies,â€ said Brother President Ronald Gallagher.
The Hearst Foundations have a long history of supporting Saint Maryâ€™s College, dating back to 1965 with a grant for the Collegeâ€™s library. Numerous grants have followed, most notably grants for the construction of the Hearst Art Gallery and for endowed scholarships that continue serving Saint Maryâ€™s students today.
Brother President Gallagher expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the new grant from the Hearst Foundations. â€œIt provides a much-needed safety net for students with diminished financial options,â€ he said.
The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations and institutions working in the fields of education, health, culture and social services. Their goal is to ensure that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives. The charitable goals of the Foundations reflect the philanthropic interests of William Randolph Hearst. The Hearst Foundations have combined assets of more than $1 billion. Since 1975, the Foundations have approved $725 million in grants.
Saint Maryâ€™s College of California was founded in 1863 and is based in Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions. The college currently enrolls more than 3,800 students in undergraduate, graduate and extended education programs. For more than 130 years the College has been guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Churchâ€™s oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching.