President Lori Bettison-Varga announced two generous gifts to the Scripps College Academy on Wednesday evening, February 16, 2011, at an event in Los Angeles celebrating a national award for the Scripps College Academy (SCA). The College received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award for the Scripps College Academy—the highest recognition for youth-oriented programs—from First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony last fall.
To a gathering of Scripps College and SCA students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and trustees, as well as leaders in the greater Los Angeles community, Bettison-Varga thanked the Donald T. Leahy Charitable Lead Trust and Mr. Leahy’s sister, Patricia Jean Van Every, for a very generous gift to endow eight Leahy Scholars each year in perpetuity, and Cathy Gilson and her husband, Larry Gilson, for an important gift to pilot an expansion of the Scripps College summer program.
President Bettison-Varga also thanked the staff and chefs of Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills, where the event took place. Bouchon cut its party price to “a ridiculous low,” as its contribution to higher education for women, according to Jay Weston, who attended the event and wrote about it in The Huffington Post.
The SCA is an innovative program for middle and high school girls that prepares them for future success in college. It consists of a two-week academic summer program on the Scripps College campus, on-campus visits during the school year, faculty mentorship, and personalized assistance in the college application process and financial planning. Last year, 100% of SCA scholars who were high school seniors were accepted to four-year colleges and universities, including Yale, Wellesley, Brown, Smith, and Scripps, among other highly selective schools.