California State University, Long Beach
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Alexander Welcomes 26 New President’s Scholars for 2012-13

Published: September 4, 2012

With the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year, CSULB welcomed 26 of the best and brightest of this past spring’s California high school graduates into the fold of its President’s Scholars Program.

CSULB President F. King Alexander recognized and congratulated this incoming class of 2012 and their parents at the university’s Convocation on Aug. 24, in the Carpenter Center, pointing out a milestone with this year’s group—it is the first time in the program’s history that an incoming class of scholars is made up of 50 percent males and 50 percent females.

“The President’s Scholars Program at Cal State Long Beach attracts some of the most academically talented students in California and this year’s class is no exception,” Alexander said. “The program is extremely competitive. In fact, this year we received more than 700 applications for these scholarships, but only these 26 students were selected to be part of this incoming group of scholastically outstanding individuals.”

Established in 1995, the CSULB President’s Scholars Program was created to bring valedictorians and National Merit scholars from California high schools to the campus, and that first class consisted of a handful of students from the greater Long Beach area. Today, the program is recognized as the premier program of its kind in the state. More than 1,000 students from 41 of California’s 58 counties have been selected for the program to date.

Each of the scholars has his or her own reason for choosing CSULB, and they often share those reasons with program organizers.

“I chose to apply to California State University, Long Beach for its positive reputation, location and nationally-recognized academic programs,” wrote Paraclete High School valedictorian Michael Tocco in his application essay for the program. “By providing me with a diverse and intelligent array of professors, CSULB offers me a place to challenge myself academically and attain an education that satisfies my major’s requirements, as well as giving me the tools to work in the field of my choice.”

Alexa Navarro, valedictorian for the class of 2012 at Santa Rosa High, explained in her essay: “The President’s Scholars Program will surround me with other dedicated students who would push me to do my best and with faculty members who truly care about my academic success. I want a college experience that will challenge me but also encourage extra-curricular activity on campus, in the community, and around the world. I believe I will find that experience in CSU Long Beach and the President’s Scholar Program.”

President Scholars logo

As President’s Scholars, each selected student attends 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.

“Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of supporters who annually raise the necessary funds privately, we are able to offer these 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 explained. “In return, the scholars 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.”

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 begun successful careers at companies like Disney and Boeing.

“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 700 valedictorians and National Merit scholars from California high schools each year.”

The benefits for qualifying valedictorians and National Merit scholars from accredited California high schools are made possible through the support of the CSULB Alumni Association, President’s Associates and the Corporate Scholars Council.

–Rick Gloady