Chapman University
The Simon Foundations
Orange High School
have partnered to create the Simon STEM Scholarship Program. This unique scholarship program allows selected Orange High School students who major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degree to receive a full scholarship to Chapman University.

“Raising the bar in science education is a priority at Chapman and this partnership is a testament to that,” said James L. Doti, Ph.D., and president of Chapman University. “The Simon Foundations has a legacy of sending young scholars to college and we are honored to join them in establishing a unique program that will help Orange High School students interested in pursuing an education and career grounded in STEM.”

Jim Doti, Ph.D., President of Chapman University

Specifically, the Simon STEM Scholarship Program is a six-year process that begins during a student’s junior year while attending Orange High School and continues through four years at Chapman University. Four students will be selected each year based on their GPA and desire to pursue a career in a STEM discipline. The scholarship program supports students who are facing personal or economic difficulties and is designed to help students excel academically and to become burgeoning thought leaders in STEM disciplines.

“Growth in STEM jobs accounts for 80 percent of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S.,” said Ronald M. Simon, founder of the Simon Foundations. “We are proud to work in alignment with leaders from Chapman University and the Orange Unified School District to provide the STEM Scholarship to deserving young students and foster future leaders in this expanding field.”

Head shot of Ron Simon

While still in high school, the selected students will receive a computer, academic support and college level research experience, as well as participate in community service activities and other programs designed to prepare for their success in college and beyond. The scholars must maintain a 3.0 grade point average. Following the completion of high school, the Simon STEM Scholars receive a full scholarship to Chapman University including tuition and housing. Students electing not to attend Chapman University will be eligible for a $16,000 Simon Foundations Scholarship to assist with tuition as they pursue their STEM-focused studies at the university of their choice.

“The partnership with The Simon STEM Scholarship program and Chapman University will provide Orange High School students with an exceptional opportunity to engage in STEM, increasing their access to transformational educators and next generation science innovations,” said Orange Unified School District Superintendent Michael L. Christensen. “The students that are selected to participate in this partnership will have access to an education in a dynamic environment that will enhance their college career preparedness and create connections to 21st century industry. This opportunity will develop the critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration skills necessary to compete in a global economy.”

Head shot of Mike Christensen

By the year 2020, The Simon STEM Scholarship Program will be providing almost $1 million annually in funding to 24 Simon Scholars. Eight of them will be enrolled at Orange High School and 16 will be enrolled at Chapman.

An interesting feature of the program is that donors will be able to sponsor a Simon Scholar during their four years at Chapman for $14,000 per year or $56,000 for all four years. Mr. and Mrs. Simon have generously offered to fully match each of these sponsorships. Every student in this program will graduate from Chapman as a Simon Scholar and a Fellow named in honor of the person, foundation or corporation sponsoring the student.

In addition to the full match of $224,000 provided annually by Mr. and Mrs. Simon and additional support from the Simon Foundation, the following have committed to sponsor Fellows ($56,000 over all four years):

  • Doy Henley, Chairman Emeritus of Chapman University’s Board of Trustees
  • Jim Doti, President of Chapman University
  • Daniele Struppa, Chancellor of Chapman University
  • Western Dental Services/Brident STEM Scholar

“Western Dental-Brident is honored to partner with Chapman University and the Simon STEM Scholarship Program,” said Simon Castellanos, CEO of Western Dental-Brident. “As a premier oral healthcare company in Orange County, we understand how important it is to support our community by investing in the future leaders who aspire to receive a STEM education.  By having science programs in high school and college it provides accessibility for the future in education, research and the economy; and by empowering our students, we in turn are investing in the future of health care.”

Head shot of Simon Castellanos, CEO of Western Dental-Brident

A $1 million commitment has also been made by an anonymous foundation to fully endow two Fellows in perpetuity.

“We at Orange High School are thrilled to be in partnership with Chapman University and the Simon Family Foundation,” said Ernie Gonzalez, principal of Orange High School. “The Simon STEM Scholarship program will be a life changing opportunity for our student recipients.”

Head shot of Ernest Gonzalez

Additional partners – individuals, corporations and foundations – are welcome to participate. Interested parties should contact Sheryl A. Bourgeois, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of University Advancement, Chapman University, at

More on Chapman University

Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University provides a uniquely personalized and interdisciplinary educational experience to highly qualified students. Our programs encourage innovation, creativity and collaboration, and focus on developing global citizen-leaders who are distinctively prepared to improve their community and their world. For more information, visit

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The Simon Foundations and The Simon Family Foundation

The Simon Foundations were established to facilitate students with difficult life and economic circumstances in their quests to achieve the American dream through a college education. The students served are committed to achieving personal success while positively impacting the lives of others in their communities. The Simon Foundations believe that early intervention and intensive support are the means to enhancing lives and creating independent, self-sufficient and productive individuals. The Simon STEM Scholarship Program will be administered under the direction of Kathy Simon Abels, Ph.D., chair and CEO of The Simon Family Foundation. For additional information about Simon Scholars visit

About the Orange Unified School District

The Orange Unified School District is located in Orange County, CA, and spans more than 100 square miles. The school district includes 38 schools in primary, middle and secondary education, including two charter schools, and serves approximately 30,000 students in grades K-12. The district proudly serves the communities of Orange, Santa Ana, Garden Grove and Anaheim.


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