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$2 million for reentry scholarships

Funding will assist Mānoa and West Oʻahu students returning to complete baccalaureate degrees

University of Hawaiʻi
Margot Schrire,
UH Foundation
Posted: May 26, 2009

"Growing up with a single mother of three on welfare, and then taking on two children on my own is what inspired me to return to school. Although the idea of future financial stability for me and my family is one aspect of my decision, becoming a role model for my brothers was a big inspiration. I will be the first college graduate in my family and I hope that my accomplishments will inspire each of them to attend college someday and to work hard to reach their goals."

—Jade, UH Mānoa Osher Reentry Scholarship Recipient

HONOLULU - The Bernard Osher Foundation has once again partnered with UH Mānoa and UH West Oʻahu to provide critical support for students who have experienced an interruption in their education of five years or more and wish to resume their education.

"Reentry students often experience special challenges and may need assistance with career counseling, familiarization with new information technology and balancing the responsibilities of families and employment," said Donna Vuchinich, president, University of Hawaiʻi Foundation. "These new gifts from the Bernard Osher Foundation will help many students, today and in the future, return to the University of Hawaiʻi and fulfill their dreams."

The Bernard Osher Foundation is building on their past three years of support for the Osher Reentry Scholarships through two separate endowments of $1 million each. One of the Osher Reentry Scholarship Endowments will support Osher Reentry Scholarships at UH West Oʻahu and the other $1 million endowment will support Osher Reentry Scholarships at UH Mānoa. Revenue from the endowments will be allocated to provide scholarships on an annual basis beginning with the 2010-2011 academic year. These scholarships will be promoted to nontraditional students and will be applied to student tuition fees exclusively. To date, including these latest gifts, the Bernard Osher Foundation has contributed more than $5 million to the University of Hawaiʻi System.

"The Reentry Scholarship Program is one of the most important initiatives of the Bernard Osher Foundation," said Mary Bitterman, Bernard Osher Foundation president. "In the current economy with the increasingly competitive job market, having an education makes all the difference. We wish the Osher Reentry Scholars over the years ahead every happiness and success."

Osher Reentry Scholarship guidelines:

  • Students have experienced a cumulative gap in their education of five or more years.

  • Students are at the undergraduate level and pursuing their first baccalaureate degree.

  • Students anticipate participating in the workforce for a significant period of time subsequent to graduation and are ideally between the ages of 25-50.

  • Students demonstrate financial need, not necessarily on their FASFA.

  • Students show academic promise and a commitment to obtaining their degree.

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About the Bernard Osher Foundation: Founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, the Foundation provides scholarship support to colleges and universities across the nation and funds selected integrative medicine centers on campuses in the U.S. and in Sweden. It also supports more than 100 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes in American institutions of higher education and makes arts and humanities grants to nonprofit organizations principally in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and the State of Maine. Hawaiʻi resident Mary G.F. Bitterman is the Foundation's president.

The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawaiʻi System. Our mission is to unite our donors‘ passions with the University of Hawaiʻi's aspirations to benefit the people of Hawaiʻi and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships. Please visit