California State University, Long Beach
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CSULB President’s Scholars Program Welcomes Its 15th Class

Published: September 15, 2009

Fifteen years of the best and the brightest. That’s the mark the President’s Scholars Program at CSULB hits this fall as the campus welcomed its 15th class of incoming valedictorians and National Merit scholars.

The Class of 2009 includes 50 of last spring’s top graduates from California high schools who were selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants, bringing the total number of President’s Scholars currently studying on campus is at 271.

“Even after 15 years, the President’s Scholars Program at Cal State Long Beach still attracts many of the brightest and most talented high school graduates in California, and I believe it will continue to do so for years to come,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “Each year, we receive more than 500 applications from California valedictorians or National Merit scholars for these premier scholarships, and each year 50 new students are selected to be part of this incoming group of scholastically outstanding individuals.

This most recent class of President’s Scholars includes students coming from as far north as Sierra City (a community in Sierra County about 120 miles northeast of Sacramento and about 80 miles from Reno, Nev.), and as far south as Laguna Niguel in southern Orange County. The incoming class also includes 16 students from the greater Long Beach area.

“Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of supporters who annually raise the necessary funds privately, we are able to offer these academically talented students a full scholarship and the opportunity to receive an outstanding education in a variety of academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level,” Alexander continued. “In return, they add a great deal to the stature of the university through their academic pursuits in research, academic competitions and other activities. They also perform thousands of hours of community service and are solid representatives of the university wherever they go.”

Established in 1995, the program’s first class consisted of a handful of students from the greater Long Beach area. Today, the program is recognized as the premier one of its kind in the state. More than 970 students from 41 of California’s 58 counties have been selected for the program since its inception.

Graduates of the CSULB President’s Scholars Program have gone on to prestigious graduate and professional schools such as Yale; Harvard; UC Berkeley Law School; Stanford; Duke and Johns Hopkins medical schools; Dartmouth; UCLA Dental School and CSULB. Others have started successful careers at companies like Disney, Boeing and TRW.

2009-10 President Scholars
Photo by David J. Nelson
The 2009-10 class of President’s Scholars.

“When the President’s Scholars Program began, the university sent a clear message that it was very serious about going after highly motivated, high-achieving students, and the results have far exceeded our original expectations,” noted Valerie Bordeaux, director of the scholars program. “I don’t think any of us dreamed that we would consistently attract and get applications from more than 500 valedictorians and National Merit scholars from California high schools each year.”

Each selected scholar is attending CSULB on a full scholarship that covers general student fees, an annual book allowance and paid housing in the campus residence halls for four years. In addition, these students receive priority registration, personal academic counseling and more.

The scholarships are made possible through the support of the CSULB Alumni Association, President’s Associates and the Corporate Scholars Council.