Daniel Greenberg '65 Creates Scholarship Fund at Santa Monica College

From the Los Angeles Times:

Santa Monica College's plan to offer some high-demand classes at a premium cost received a boost Thursday with the announcement of a $250,000 donation to support scholarships for students who qualify.

The donors are businessman Daniel Greenberg and his wife, attorney and civic activist Susan Steinhauser, two longtime supporters whose previous giving has centered on the Broad Stage of the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center.

The two-year college approved a plan last week, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, that would offer core education classes such as English and math at a cost of about $200 per unit, alongside state-funded courses. Beginning this summer, those classes will cost $46 per unit.

Officials said the plan would allow students to enroll in classes they need to transfer and obtain degrees, an effort that has been hampered in recent years because of state funding cuts. But some academic experts have questioned the legality of the dual program, and many students say it is unfair for those who can't afford to pay the higher costs.

It was just those concerns that spurred the couple to act after reading an account in The Times, Greenberg said Thursday.

"When I read about some of the concerns from students that it is inequitable, I thought offering scholarships really made sense," said Greenberg, 70, who lives in West Los Angeles. "Members of my extended family have been finishing college in five or six years instead of four, and I assume the same kind of thing is happening to kids at Santa Monica College who need a degree but can't get the class. If we can give them an opportunity to get into the labor pool even a year earlier, I consider it a blessing of monumental proportion."


Greenberg is chairman and chief executive of Electro Rent Corp., a Van Nuys firm that rents and sells electronic test and measurement equipment. A Minneapolis native, he received a bachelor's degree from Reed College in Portland and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School [class of 1965]. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at Reed and previously served on the board of the NPR Foundation.