Announcing the Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program

Berkeley, California, October 10, 2014 – The Cal Alumni Association (CAA) announced a significant expansion of its portfolio of undergraduate scholarship programs dedicated to attracting and retaining the best and brightest underrepresented ethnic minority students at the University of California, Berkeley. The scholarship program, formerly known as The Equity Scholarship, has been renamed the Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholarship Program (KASP), in honor of Cal alumnus and local business and community leader, Theodore (Ted) H. Kruttschnitt ’64.

Since 2008, CAA has awarded multiple scholarships to recruit underrepresented ethnic minority students to Cal, and this generous commitment by Mr. Kruttschnitt now allows CAA to award additional financial aid and establish innovative programming for Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholars—a combination proven to be key educational success drivers for minority students.

KASP is a multi-year, need, and merit-based scholarship for in-state students of underrepresented ethnic minorities, founded in an effort to recognize high-achieving students at UC Berkeley and better reflect the population of the State of California. By the fourth year of the Program, Mr. Kruttschnitt’s gift will financially support 86 students annually at UC Berkeley with scholarships in the amount of $6,000 per student for each of their years at Cal.

In addition to financial aid, the Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholars will receive the guidance and resources necessary to succeed at the number one public university in the world. To ensure access and the success of the Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholars, CAA will partner with various campus units and student service centers, including the Division of Equity & Inclusion. These partnerships will be designed to ensure Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholars not only persist but also excel at Cal. Importantly, CAA currently serves as a destination of belonging and community for all students at Cal, and Kruttschnitt Aspire Scholars will immediately benefit in joining the CAA family.

“KASP will enable the Cal Alumni Association to greatly expand its efforts to ensure that admitted, high-achieving underrepresented students are well prepared to realize their aspirations and become the leaders of tomorrow,” remarked CAA Executive Director Jefferson C.M. Coombs ’89. “It is essential that our student population represent the diversity of the State of California. Ted’s loyalty to Cal and his enthusiasm for this initiative will make a significant positive impact on our University community.”

Ted Kruttschnitt’s significant financial donation to CAA’s Alumni Scholarships program was made as a special legacy statement in honor of his 50th reunion at Cal, which he celebrates this year.

“I deeply believe in the importance of diversity, excellence, and access at UC Berkeley. Scholarships play a critical role in bringing the brightest, most promising students to Cal. These students must be supported both when they arrive on campus and throughout their years at Berkeley,” said Mr. Kruttschnitt. “With this scholarship, we hope to increase the yield and improve the retention of more extraordinary young people who can attend Berkeley and go on to make a positive impact in their chosen professions and respective communities.”

In the last decade, the rates of enrollment and retention of many students of color have declined. Access and completion rates for African-American/Black, Chicano/Latino, and Native Indian/Alaskan Native students have lagged behind Caucasian and Asian students, as have those for low-income students and students with disabilities. Because students of color often make up a much smaller percentage of students on any college campus, their experiences and needs often go undetected and underserved. KASP hopes to alleviate those disparities at Berkeley.

“I am thrilled to hear of the extraordinary generosity of Mr. Kruttschnitt. This is exactly the sort of highly focused contribution from the private sector that will advance student access, inclusion, and success at UC Berkeley,” shared Gibor Basri, UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion. “The Division of Equity & Inclusion looks forward to engaging and supporting these talented students to achieve their full potential and goals. We are grateful to Mr. Kruttschnitt and the Cal Alumni Association for helping to advance campus goals in this highly effective way.”

Candidates for the KASP award must meet a gross household family income limitation, gain admission to UC Berkeley, be identified as underrepresented ethnic minorities by the Office of Admissions, and have demonstrated personal leadership through community service or overcoming adversity. All admitted students who have completed their high school, GED, or community college transfer requirements in California are eligible for the KASP award regardless of immigration status.

Information about the KASP Scholarship is available online at alumni.berkeley.edu/kasp

Founded in 1872 the Cal Alumni Association represents the entire UC Berkeley alumni community. CAA is a self-funded, non-profit organization which exists to serve and support the University of California, Berkeley through an array of programs and services, including scholarships, legislative advocacy, and the award-winning California magazine.

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