The Ronald M. Simon Family Foundation has generously extended its support for the health education of students, particularly those from underserved and lower socio-economic backgrounds in Orange County. Thanks to this recent gift, the Simon Scholar Physician Assistant Program, which was initiated by the Simon Family Foundation at Chapman University in 2019, will continue for the next five years. This program offers 10 full-tuition scholarships to each entering class, with the condition that students commit to serving in Orange County for three years after completing their studies.

Chapman President Daniele C. Struppa expressed gratitude for this gift, highlighting how it enables underserved students to pursue a top-tier master’s degree in medical science and contribute positively to the community. This initiative aligns with the Simon Family Foundation’s and Chapman University’s shared commitment to enhancing educational access and supporting local communities with quality healthcare.

The Simon Family Foundation’s dedication to education is evident through various endeavors, including the Simon Scholar PA program, the Simon-Orange-Chapman STEM Scholarship (SOCSS) Program for high school students, and support for the Sandi Simon Center for Dance. Ron Simon, representing the foundation, emphasized the program’s success in empowering talented, underprivileged students and addressing Orange County’s healthcare needs.

The Simon Scholar program, managed by the Simon Foundation, identifies promising high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds and supports them throughout their academic journey. While the foundation collaborates with multiple universities to facilitate transitions from high school to college, Chapman is the first to extend this support to graduate students, creating a seamless pathway for talent development.

Chapman University, committed to social mobility and serving underserved and first-generation students, acknowledges the significant impact of the Simon Family Foundation’s gift on its mission. This contribution strengthens the university’s ability to provide elite education opportunities and address local healthcare needs, aligning with the objectives of Inspire: The Campaign for Chapman University.

The Simon Scholar program at Chapman aims to provide opportunities for students facing social and economic challenges to earn a Master of Medical Science (MMS) degree. By supporting formerly underserved students, the program ensures they graduate with minimal or no debt, paving the way for rewarding careers as physician assistants. Given the increasing demand for healthcare professionals, particularly physician assistants, in Orange County and nationwide, this initiative is crucial for meeting community healthcare needs and promoting diversity in the field.