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Equalizing Opportunity

Smiling student holds a sign for transfer students in the BRC Transfer Student Program.
History professor emeritus Ellen Carol DuBois has established a scholarship for transfer students from local community colleges, leveling the playing field in university access.

Whether creating a chair or funding research, philanthropists make academic pursuits possible. Many faculty recognize that generosity and become donors themselves to continue the cycle of giving and success.

A History of Supporting Equity

Among them is history professor emeritus Ellen Carol DuBois, who recently gave $600,000 for undergraduate scholarships. The contribution — a planned gift via insurance policy — is rather unique. So, too, is the story behind the gift.

Grateful for her colleagues and concerned for the future of her field, DuBois originally wanted to support faculty in her home department. But as others endowed chairs, she found herself considering those at an earlier stage of their education. A scholar of gender history, she’d spent plenty of time thinking about equality. And she knew that many prospective students — especially those transferring from community colleges — face financial barriers to attending UCLA.

A New Scholarship for Promising Students

To level the playing field, the new Ellen Carol DuBois Endowed Scholarship will support transfer students from Santa Monica College and other local community colleges. After teaching thousands of students, DuBois appreciates the perspective and passion that transfers — many of whom are first-generation undergraduates — bring to the classroom.

“Almost to a student, my best and most beloved students were transfers,” she says. “I was really concerned that no money was going to the people I’d experienced as the foundation of California’s higher education system.”

An Environment for Success

UCLA enrolls more transfer students than any other UC campus, accounting for one-third of all undergraduates. A variety of on-campus resources — from the Transfer Student Center to the First to Go program — helped UCLA top Money’s “Best Colleges for Transfer Students” list in 2018.

A first-generation college student herself, DuBois made the most of her opportunity, becoming a UCLA faculty member and donor. Now she’s giving others the same chance.

To learn more, contact

Nicole Dunn310-267-4063

Published June 2019

Ellen Carol DuBois headshot

Donor Ellen Carol DuBois (Photo credit: Scarlett Freund)

More Stories: Equity, diversity and inclusion, The College, Students, Students & campus