The Strauss Foundation project was the most challenging and rewarding
experience of my life and has impacted every aspect of my life. It helped me realize my dream to return to Ecuador. In addition to Spanish language and
intercultural skills, I learned to set realistic goals, manage a project, and never give up! by Hillary Papendick, Scripps College 2003
Environmental Education in Coastal Ecuador Towns

The Foundation

The Donald A. Strauss Public Service Scholarship Foundation was created as a memorial to the late Don Strauss, who demonstrated a strong, lifelong commitment to public service and education. The Foundation annually awards $10,000 scholarships to approximately 14 California college sophomores and juniors who reflect a similar commitment.

Strauss died in 1995 at the age of 79. Strauss' widow, Dorothy M. R. Strauss, established the Foundation in January of 1997 as a "tribute to the vision, ideals and leadership of Donald A. Strauss."

The first group of Strauss Scholars

The first group of Strauss Scholars

In its first year, the Foundation board invited 10 universities to nominate three students each for Strauss scholarships, with the board making the final selection of the 10 winners. Dorothy Strauss saw her vision for the Foundation realized – she telephoned each of the 10 first-year recipients to notify them personally – before she passed away in October of 1997 at age 83.

In the second year, the Foundation – based in Newport Beach, California, where Donald & Dorothy Strauss lived for some 40 years – was able to broaden its reach and to increase to approximately 14 the number of $10,000 scholarships it awards each year.

Strauss Scholars tend to have had extensive records of community and public service, of course, but a central part of the application package is a proposal for a project to be carried out between the end of his or her junior year and the spring of the senior year. For a complete list please see Projects We Have Funded.


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