Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust announces scholarship program with Arizona State University and Maricopa Community Colleges

June 15, 2001

(Phoenix)–The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust has announced the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program to underwrite scholarships for nontraditional college students at Arizona State University and Maricopa Community Colleges. The Trust will sponsor eight students at ASU and 15 students at Maricopa Community Colleges each year, with the first cohorts of Nina Scholars registering for the 2001 Fall semester.

“Education was very important to Nina Mason Pulliam. Nina saw education as a crucial tool to self-sufficiency and personal fulfillment,” said Trustee Nancy M. Russell. “The Nina Scholars program is an exciting, new dimension for the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. A primary giving focus for the Trust is helping people in need; the Nina Scholars program takes our mission to another level.”

“The Trustees are particularly pleased that many of the nonprofit organizations the Trust funds through its regular grant program serve individuals who could be eligible for this type of educational support. Our plan includes creating relationships with these organizations and the participating colleges and universities to bring the opportunity of higher education and self-sufficiency to those who might not have dreamed a college degree was within their reach,” Russell added.

“The individuals the Nina Scholars program seeks to help face incredible barriers to obtaining higher education. With the Trust minimizing the economic barriers and ASU and Maricopa Community Colleges providing special outreach and support to each of the Nina Scholars, together we believe we have a strong chance for success,” Russell explained.

The Trust is interested in providing scholarships to Arizona residents who are: adults, 25 years or older with dependents in their family unit; young adults, ages 18 to 25, who have been raised through the child welfare system and have no form of financial support; and college-age youth and adults with physical disabilities. Applicants receiving first priority will be those with a household income of 80 percent or less of the median income for their geographic area.

Support for the Nina Scholars will include full resident tuition, book expenses and student fees. In addition, an annual living allowance of $2,500 will be provided to help with expenses such as housing, transportation, childcare and health insurance.

“We are continually challenged to provide the nontraditional student with financial support, and just as importantly, to recruit, advise and mentor them individually throughout their higher-learning experience,” said ASU President Lattie Coor.

“Higher education is no longer a luxury. It is an economic necessity for the vast majority of people who desire to be successful in the new economy,” said Maricopa Community Colleges Chancellor Fred Gaskin.

“Because of the close working relationship that the Maricopa Community Colleges have with Arizona State University, and because students can already seamlessly transfer their two-year education to a four-year degree, the opportunity for these nontraditional students to excel will be greatly enhanced,” Gaskin added.

“The Nina Scholars program’s generous provisions of scholarship assistance and living expense support represents financial aid for higher education at its most enlightened level,” Coor added. “We are so appreciative of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust’s commitment to establishing a long-term scholarship program to assist three of the student groups most in need.”

“The Nina Scholars program will encourage current donors and potential donors to consider scholarship support for at-risk populations at higher levels and for longer periods of time-an approach that is attuned to the needs of this population,” Gaskin stated. “The Trust’s structure of the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program also elevates the principle and practice of private financial aid for higher education. The embrace of such enlightened standards by a major private funding source in the community will likely encourage others to consider similar or equal support.”

The first class of Nina Scholars will begin in the 2001 Fall semester. For further information about applying to the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program contact: Arizona State University at 480-965-5969 or Maricopa Community Colleges at 480-731-8505.

“Nina would have been so pleased about the Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program because it provides people with the means for self-sufficiency through education. This was one of Nina’s fundamental beliefs,” Russell concluded.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust seeks to help people in need, especially women, children and families; to protect animals and nature; and to enrich community life in Arizona and Indiana, the states Nina Mason Pulliam called home. The Trust has also developed a Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars program in Indiana with Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Ivy Tech State College, Indianapolis Campus.