Anonymous donor gives SRJC $1 million boost

An anonymous donor has given the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation an additional $1 million to pay for student scholarships.

The same donor gave $5 million last spring for an endowment that is expected to generate about $175,000 annually in scholarships and awards. That gift was the largest single gift in the college's more than nine-decade history.

The latest donation is expected to provide more than $200,000 per year to students in amounts between $500 and $1,500, according to school officials.

The most recent donation will be added to the existing endowment and fund three scholarships: The SRJC Teaching Fellows Program, Completion Incentive Award and need-based scholarships for students with high grades who are transferring to four-year colleges and lost their federal Pell grant funding.

The SRJC Teaching Fellows Program is a newly created initiative that pairs 23 current college students with faculty members to encourage students to pursue careers in the teaching professions.

The $1 million donation comes after an announcement in August that the Doyle scholarship for incoming Santa Rosa Junior College students will resume next fall after a five-year hiatus.

The return of the Doyle scholarship is expected to provide about $850,000 annually for students. That is significantly less than the $5.3 million the college received from the Doyle trust in 2007, the last year of full funding.

The Doyle scholarship is funded by Exchange Bank dividends but was suspended in 2008 as the bank struggled financially. Since 1948, students have received $76 million in Doyle scholarships.

Staff Writer Kerry Benefield writes an education blog at extracredit.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.

She can be reached at 526-8671, kerry.benefield@press democrat.com or on Twitter @benefield.

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