Apr 272010
Authors: K.C. Fleming

The Bernard Osher Foundation recently awarded two $1 million endowments to CSU in order to fund the Osher Reentry Scholarship program and the Osher Lifelong Learning program for what the administrators of the programs say will be “decades to come.”

The first endowment will go to the Bernard Osher Foundation, BOF, scholarship program, which was created at CSU two years ago for students who were reentering college after leaving.

“It’s to help those students who have been trying to get their degree, trying to graduate, for a long time, but life circumstances happen … and they had to drop out of school,” said Jan Rastall, a member of the Osher Reentry Scholar selection committee.
“So this scholarship is wonderful because it really does help those students to finally get that degree.”

Those eligible for the scholarship must be between 25 to 50 years of age, have at least 10 years of experience in the workforce, have been out of school for five or more years, must demonstrate that he or she will graduate and must be working toward a bachelor’s degree. The scholarship is for students who have junior- or senior-status credit.

Twelve $4,000 scholarships and one $2,000 scholarship are handed out every year.
“We give out $50,000 a year out of the endowment and, ideally, the $50,000 comes from the interest gained off of the million. So in an ideal world (the scholarship) will be here as long as CSU will be here,” Rastall said.

The other endowment was given to the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning program, which was created in 2006 for students from 50 and older. This program was designed to provide special educational courses for members who are 50 and older.

These courses are not for credit, and community members are welcome to join. Some current and retired professors teach the courses.

“It’s kind of like learning for learning’s sake. It’s voluntary learning. It’s for pleasure and self enrichment,” Rastall said.
The BOF initially awarded the school an investment of $100,000 annually for three years in order to operate the institute. The directors of the program said they hope this endowment will help the program endure, according to their Web site, http://www.learn.colostate.edu/osher.

This organization is one of 119 similar institutes nationwide, also according to its website.

Staff reporter K.C. Fleming can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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