Helping CNR Students Succeed
Given California’s current financial circumstances, increased private support is the only way to uphold Berkeley’s public education mission. In recognition of this fact, the University aims to double the number of scholarships it can offer by substantially growing its endowment. As educational costs escalate, the “self help” portion of a student’s costs, paid through work or loans, is expected to more than double by 2016 to $16,000 per year. The College of Natural Resources is participating in the endowment campaign to award more scholarships to students with financial need. These funds will increase the number of students able to accept admission to Berkeley regardless of their financial background.
Donor support is critical to attracting and retaining the best and brightest young people from a broad cross-section of California. CNR has a long tradition of such assistance through the Don Dahlsten Outreach Fund, which engages students who are traditionally underrepresented in environmental fields. This commitment to increased diversity is further echoed in the College’s funding for scholarships and enrichment opportunities in careers that create a more sustainable world.
Since the start of the Campaign for Berkeley, CNR has has developed new funds to benefit students in the College. These gifts have come in the form of endowments as well as funds for current use. Donors may also state a preference to support particular majors.
The campaign has increased the amount of annual fund gifts devoted to preserving the “small college” feel of CNR even as it grows. Philanthropy is supporting the Sponsored Projects for Undergraduate Research program created (SPUR). This program enables students to collaborate with faculty, completing research projects that may be proposed either by the student or the professor. This can be a decisive moment in a student’s studies. For example, Veronica Dave worked in the health and nutrition research lab of Professor Chris Vulpe last summer, gaining skills and insights that will shape her career.
CNR has additional innovative ideas for unique giving opportunities. For example, students majoring in forestry have access to the transformative influences of Forestry Camp. A donation could create an equivalent “capstone experience” to inspire students in all College disciplines.