University Hill Foundation (UHF) has made a gift of $2.25 million to Loyola Marymount University to establish the University Hill Foundation Transfer Endowed Scholarship and the University Hill Foundation Transfer Current Use Scholarship. Both scholarships will provide much-needed financial support to community college students wishing to transfer to LMU. Transfer recruitment has always been a priority for LMU, with increasing access and building an inclusive student body as key components of its mission as a Catholic university.
“This is a significant gift that can fund multiple scholarships every year,” said LMU Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas Poon. “It is a very tangible way for the foundation to support our transfer recruitment efforts, which have always brought such rich diversity to our classroom conversations and co-curricular endeavors — not just racial and ethnic diversity, but age, life experience, and socioeconomic status as well. Every transfer student I meet has a unique and inspirational story. I look forward to celebrating with representatives from UHF as we further honor our transfer student successes.”
“The Jesuits have always helped those in need, and with this gift, we hope to do the same.”Henry Workman Jr., Director, University Hill Foundation
Recent media articles have documented the challenges faced by students wishing to transfer from community and other colleges. In July 2023, CalMatters reported that only 9.9 percent of community college students who wished to transfer to four-year universities were able to achieve their goal, citing finances as a key factor. LMU has long been committed to meeting these challenges; in addition to establishing the LMU Transfer Pathway Program with Santa Monica College, East Los Angeles College, El Camino College, and Compton College, the university has cultivated partnerships with more than 30 community colleges throughout California and Arizona. Currently, LMU welcomes more than 600 transfer students per year.
“LMU’s investment in building dynamic and accessible pathways for transfer students continues to receive national recognition,” said Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Maureen Weatherall. “In 2023, Phi Theta Kapa (PTK) named the university to its Transfer Honor Roll for the eighth consecutive year. Now, with this generous gift from UHF in place, LMU will be able to address the needs of our dynamic transfer population even more effectively.”
LMU’s transfer services don’t end at enrollment; The university offers a range of programs to help transfer students integrate into the campus community. These include the Transfer Living Learning Community, which helps incoming transfer students maximize their opportunities at LMU; the Lion Transfer Network, a student organization that provides resources for new and continuing transfer students; the Zeta Psi Chapter of Tau Sigma National Honor Society, which recognizes and promotes the academic excellence of LMU transfer students; and VOCARÉ, a career discernment retreat organized by LMU Career and Professional Development.
University Hill Foundation was founded in 1945 to provide fiscal support to LMU. Over the decades, generous gifts from UHF have helped to establish Sacred Heart Chapel, University Hall, the William H. Hannon Library, and the Howard Fitzpatrick Pavilion of the School of Film and Television, among numerous other projects, with total lifetime giving estimated at more than $100 million. This most recent gift has a more personal aspect: both Dennis Slattery, the foundation’s president, and Henry Workman Jr., its director, were transfer students themselves and are firm believers in supporting future generations of transfer students.
“My own transfer experience served me very well in terms of personal growth,” said Slattery. “After graduating from Loyola High School in 1970, I enrolled at West Los Angeles College, where I was able to keep playing football and keep working at part-time jobs. I met amazing people there who became lifelong mentors and friends, and by the time I transferred, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for a living. Having that extra space to work things out was so beneficial for me, and I want to enable others to have the same options.”
Both men acknowledge that the college landscape has changed significantly since their time, with costs rising astronomically and more students facing significant economic barriers to success. This only increased their motivation to support transfer scholarships.
“The Jesuits have always helped those in need, and with this gift, we hope to do the same,” said Workman, whose own transfer experience was similar to Slattery’s. “During the Depression, my father was able to attend Loyola High School free of charge and my family has been forever grateful for that uplifting act of generosity. Now, it’s rewarding to know that UHF’s transfer scholarships will make a first-rate education attainable for promising students who might not be able to afford it otherwise.”