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Cal State East Bay's SOS Fund Helps Students To Graduate

Cal State University East Bay's (CSUEB) SOS Fund, which began three years ago by two alumni, currently has $58,000 in gifts and individual scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,500. It has enabled 56 students previously in danger of dropping out for financial reasons, to remain and graduate.

The fund was started in 2011 by alumnae Luanne Rotticci (B.S. Business and Kinesiology,’87) and Liza Jane MacNaughton (B.A., Spanish,’90) with their own money were appalled to think what it would mean for CSUEB students who were close to graduation, but would be forced to drop out for financial reasons.

Rotticci and MacNaughton reached out to friends and fellow alumni to add to the fund.

How helpful has the SOS Fund been? John Matthews, a U.S. Navy veteran who fought in the Iraq War and was one of those students in need after losing his job, was able to return to CSUEB to complete his degree.

“I was working at NUMMI when it was closed down,” Matthews said. “My family of four faced many challenges as I returned to school. The SOS scholarship gave me a second chance in life… it gave me the opportunity to stay in school and complete my degree in industrial engineering. With that degree, I secured a job at Tesla. I was very proud to be able to make my own gift to the SOS Scholarship Fund this year.”

If you would like to helpCal State East Bay students stay in school, graduate and reach their potential, go to, or contact Penny Peak, director, Alumni Relations & Programs, at (510) 885-4156, or at

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