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The Bernard Osher Foundation Awards Eckerd College $1 Million Gift for Students Reentering College

posted on 09/23/2008

The Bernard Osher Foundation has awarded Eckerd College a $1 million gift to establish an endowment for Eckerd's Osher Reentry Scholarship Fund. In addition, the Osher Foundation awarded the college $50,000 as a bridge grant to provide support until the endowments begin to generate proceeds.

The Osher Reentry Scholarship Program will provide scholarships to undergraduate students in Eckerd's Program for Experienced Learners (PEL). The Scholarship Program specifically targets students between the ages of 25 and 50 whose progress towards a degree was interrupted by the circumstances of life and who are now reentering college to complete their education. Scholarships of $2,500 each will cover the cost of tuition for 20 new, reentering students. Students who receive an award will be considered Osher Reentry Scholars.

Recipients will be first-time baccalaureate degree students who experienced a gap of at least five years in their enrollment and have demonstrated financial need. PEL's Osher Reentry Scholarship Program received its first gift of $50,000 from The Bernard Osher Foundation in spring 2006.

Click here for more information about applying for PEL's Osher Reentry Scholarship Program.

About The Bernard Osher Foundation
The Bernard Osher Foundation is a charitable foundation established in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a businessman and community leader whose philanthropy has benefited a wide range of educational, cultural and other nonprofit organizations primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area and his native Maine. In the fall of 2007, The Bernard Osher Foundation awarded Eckerd College a $1 million gift to establish an endowment for Eckerd's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

About the Program for Experienced Learners
Established in 1977, Eckerd College Program for Experienced Learners is specifically designed to fit the lifestyles and support the objectives of adult learners. Over 4,000 busy adults have graduated from Eckerd College - most of them while continuing to work. Highlights of PEL include accelerated 8-week terms; experiential learning credit; outstanding instructors; small classes and personal attention; career services; and study abroad opportunities.

About the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Eckerd College
In 2005, Eckerd College was selected to be an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Only 5 Florida colleges/universities are part of the network, including Eckerd College, the University of South Florida-Tampa, the University of Miami, Florida International University, and the University of North Florida. Each program has the common thread of providing intellectually stimulating, non-credit learning opportunities for adults age 50 and better.

Eckerd's OLLI program began as Senior College in 1997. The program has grown to over 1,000 members and provides intellectually stimulating, non-credit learning opportunities for adults age 50 and better throughout the Tampa Bay area. OLLI members enjoy a diverse offering of classes, forums, speaker series, special programs, and educational local, regional and international trips. Members may also participate as volunteers - working in the OLLI call center, leading trips, and serving as class assistants and office support persons.

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