Longtime Scholarship America Volunteer Honored by National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

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03 Feb 2009
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Morgan Odell, long-time volunteer and former Board member of Scholarship America, the nation’s largest non-profit, private-sector scholarship and educational support organization, was awarded the 23rd annual Henry Paley Memorial Award by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) Tuesday, Feb. 3, at the association’s national meeting in Washington, DC.

The award recognizes individuals who have worked to advance educational opportunity in the United States. Previous winners include The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame, and former New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean. Sharing the stage with Odell was former U. S. Sen. John Warner, who received the 16th annual NAICU Award for Advocacy of Independent Higher Education.

Odell was named Executive Director and later President of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities in 1967, a post he held for 18 years. California’s was the first state association of independent colleges and universities, according to Odell. It began in 1935 when two business leaders had the idea of forming a state association, building a statewide scholarship program and eventually creating a national organization with other states. Those visionaries were R. J. Wig, then president of the Board of Trustees of Pomona College in Pomona, Calif., and Frank Rush, president of the Board of Trustees of Occidental College in Los Angeles, Calif.

Since his retirement, Odell has remained active in both the Dollars for Scholars program of Scholarship America and in work with educational foundations.

A native of Pasadena, Calif., Odell is a graduate of Eagle Rock High School in Los Angeles, and was instrumental in the founding of the Eagle Rock High School Scholarship Foundation, a Dollars for Scholars chapter, which continues to offer scholarships to graduating seniors of the school. He has also taken an active interest in another California Dollars for Scholars chapter, the Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Foundation. He and his wife, Betty, are long-time residents of Laguna Beach.

Janine Fugate, Scholarship America
952.830.7307; jfugate@scholarshipamerica.org

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About Dollars for Scholars®
Dollars for Scholars is the founding program of Scholarship America, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit, private-sector scholarship and educational support organizations. Its three primary programs — Dollars for Scholars®, Scholarship Management Services® and ScholarShop® — are united in the mission to expand access to education. Scholarship America has awarded more than $2 billion to nearly 2 million students since its founding in 1958, and has been rated a 4‑star charity by Charity Navigator every year since 2001. 

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