Colorado State University Awarded $1 Million Endowment for Osher Reentry Scholarship

The Bernard Osher Foundation has awarded Colorado State University a $1 million endowment to fund the Osher Reentry Scholarship program for decades to come.

Recipients of the Osher Reentry scholarship must be reentering the university in an undergraduate program after being out of school for at least five years. Eligible students must be ages 25-50 and working toward a bachelor’s degree.

“The invitation to write the endowment proposal was truly a tribute to CSU’s Enrollment and Access division as well as academic and student affairs support systems,” said Kevin Oltjenbruns, retired vice provost of Undergraduate Studies and co-director of Osher at Colorado State. “Before awarding Colorado State this endowment, the Bernard Osher Foundation wanted to make sure that the foundation and the university were able to build a true partnership to foster success among these students that leads to graduation. Many individual and entities across campus helped insure that these students were successful.”

The Osher Foundation has granted CSU annual funding of $50,000 over each of the past three years. During the academic period of fall 2008 to spring 2011, the foundation will have provided a total of $150,000 in scholarship money. Of the 22 Osher Reentry scholars who have received funding so far, nine graduated in two semesters and 11 graduated in four semesters.

“We are eternally grateful to the Osher Foundation for providing this endowment,” said Jan Rastall who directs the Adult Learner and Veteran Services office that administers the Osher Reentry scholarship program at CSU. “Adult reentry students that desire to complete their degree now have permanent financial resources to help make their dream a reality.”

The Osher Foundation has provided funding for programs at 73 institutions in 30 states and in the District of Columbia; about half of these scholarship programs are endowed.

In addition to the $1 million endowment for the Osher Reentry Scholarship program, the Bernard Osher Foundation also awarded Colorado State University a $1 million endowment allowing the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute to operate into perpetuity, offering quality courses and educational opportunities for members ages 50 and better.