Copper Mountain College Foundation will recognize The Bernard Osher Foundation

    October 18, 2009

    JOSHUA TREE, Ca –The Copper Mountain College Foundation will recognize The Bernard Osher Foundation with a Visionary Award at its annual Fall Dinner on Saturday, October 24, 2009, at the Helen Gray Education Center. Accepting the award on behalf of the Foundation will be featured guest speaker, Dr. Jack Scott, Chancellor of the California Community Colleges.

    This semester, Copper Mountain College was awarded $5,000 in scholarships for the 2009-10 academic year through the California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment which was established in 2008 by The Bernard Osher Foundation. The endowment program, at $50 million, represents the largest gift in community college history. $25 million was donated to establish the endowment and participating colleges were tasked with raising $50 million that would then be matched with an additional $25 million by The Bernard Osher Foundation. Copper Mountain College received $31,763 as its portion of the endowment which was based on its estimated full-time equivalent students. CMC is also eligible to receive up to $31,763 in the 50% matching funds program as it heads towards its maximum fundraising target of $63,525.

    Understanding the value of this opportunity, the faculty of Copper Mountain College stepped up and agreed to the $50 million challenge, and in the first week of the campaign demonstrated their determination by donating more than $14,000. As the new academic year began, the faculty started to see the fruit of their labor as the college awarded the first 7 of the scholarships, totaling $5,000. In the next academic year students and the community will be able to see an even larger amount awarded as the faculty contributions, and the additional matching funds, are included in CMC’s endowment allotment. According to CMC Faculty Association President, Carolyn Hopkins, “The faculty at CMC is committed, not just to current CMC students in these difficult economic times, but also future students who will benefit from this scholarship endowment.”

    These scholarships come at a critical time, indeed. A record-high unemployment rate, coupled with enrollment caps at the University of California and California State University, is sending unprecedented numbers of students to the community colleges seeking a degree, certificate or job training. At the same time, recent legislation has increased California Community College fees from $20 to $26 per unit. While California Community Colleges continue to remain affordable compared to other systems, non-tuition costs of college enrollment have grown much faster than the state’s general cost of living in recent years.

    Hundreds of thank you letters have flooded into the Foundation for California Community Colleges that is administering the program. Each letter provided a glimpse of students’ struggles to pay for their education, and the FCCC recently featured the letter of one CMC recipient who wrote, “This year has been especially difficult for my family…In addition to the nursing program I also work two jobs and have three teenage daughters. This scholarship will help me pay for books and test materials…and perhaps ease the constant stress I am under just enough to help me make it through another grueling year.”

    By donating to the campaign, CMC faculty has made an act of faith that their community will answer the challenge and lend a financial hand to deserving students. Regardless of whether the challenge is met, CMC will continue receiving scholarship funds through the initial endowment. By securing additional gifts eligible for the matching funds, CMC would provide many more students with access to college degrees and certificates, and the community will have made a vital investment in its own financial future.

    For more information on how you can become involved with the CMC Foundation and the California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment please contact Syndee Slayton at 760.366.5296. For general information regarding Copper Mountain College visit us at or call 760.366.3791.