University of Hawaii awarded $100,000 in re-entry scholarships from Bernard Osher Foundation

Grants will aid Manoa and West Oahu students returning to complete baccalaureate degrees

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Jan 26, 2007

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is pleased to announce that the Bernard Osher Foundation has awarded the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and West Oʻahu campuses $50,000 each in grants as part of a national program for students returning to complete a university degree after an absence of at least five years.

"The Osher Re-entry Scholarship Program is one of the most important initiatives of the Bernard Osher Foundation," said Mary Bitterman, president of the Bernard Osher Foundation. "We are delighted that the University of Hawaiʻi submitted proposals for re-entry scholarships, and we hope that the students receiving these scholarships will enjoy both success and happiness in the years ahead."

UH Mānoa Chancellor Denise Konan noted, "Many of these returning students are working parents with families to support. They face special challenges in resuming their educations after a long hiatus as they juggle the pressures of working, studying and raising a family. This gift from the Osher Foundation will be a tremendous help to these committed students."

For UH Mānoa, the Osher Re-entry Scholarship Program will be administered by the Bridge to Hope Program, a unit within Student Affairs. The Bridge to Hope Program specifically addresses the needs of low-income re-entry students and has grown from a pilot project into a nationally recognized program that provides access to college for single parents. While the program continues to target low-income adults, it also offers support services for all re-entry students at the UH Mānoa campus.

At the UH West Oʻahu campus, where the average age of its students is 33 years, the need for financial assistance for returning students may be even greater.

"This grant from the Osher Foundation is of tremendous value in helping to better accommodate the special needs of our mostly non-traditional student population," said Gene Awakuni, chancellor of UH West O‘ahu. "A survey of UH West O‘ahu shows that more than 70 percent of our students report having to provide care for dependents living with them. About 80 percent work while attending classes, with 51 percent working 36 hours or more a week."

Donna Vuchinich, president of the Foundation, said, "We thank the Bernard Osher Foundation for their investment in Hawaiʻi‘s workforce. Privately funded student aid such as their grant is critical to ensuring access to public higher education."

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 lifelong learning institutes at American institutions of higher education and makes arts and humanities grants to non-profit organizations principally in the Greater Bay Area and the State of Maine. Hawaii resident Mary G. F. Bitterman is the Foundation‘s president.

About the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation

The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is an independent, university-related, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise private funds according to priorities determined by the academic leadership of the University of Hawaiʻi and approved by the Board of Regents. Founded in 1955, the Foundation provides a full range of fund raising and alumni relations services for all 10 UH campuses. For more information on the Foundation, visit