Laguna Blanca School has received a $1 million leadership gift commitment from one of its current grandparents, and has established the Whittier Scholars Program to provide three years of full tuition for qualified, prospective students who demonstrate financial need to attend the Upper School grades 10 through 12.

The Whittier family, one of the pioneer families in Southern California, has a long history of philanthropic giving that has touched literally hundreds of Southern California educational and arts institutions through 11 related family foundations.

“We are thrilled to announce this generous leadership gift,” Headmaster Paul Slocombe said. “It helps tremendously towards addressing three key, long-term goals: sustaining scholarship funding, strengthening our endowment, and building programs to provide advanced educational opportunities for talented students who otherwise would not be able to attend Laguna Blanca.”

The Whittier Scholars Program will be supported by an annual gift of $100,000 for 10 years. This visionary annual commitment will be allocated in two ways: $75,000 for annual student financial aid, and $25,000 toward an endowment fund for the program.

Each year, scholarship candidates will be recommended by Laguna Blanca’s admission committee, with final awards determined by the Whittier Scholars Advisory Committee. At the end of the 10-year period, at least 25 students will be beneficiaries of the Whittier Scholars Program and an initial endowment of $250,000 will be established.

“Our hope is that the program will be a great success and that the endowment will continue to grow with additional gifts from the Laguna community to help sustain the program in perpetuity,” one of the founding family members said.

For information on opportunities at Laguna Blanca School, contact the admissions office at 805.687.2461 x210 or

— Tara Broucqsault is the director of communications for Laguna Blanca School.