2019 Bernard Osher Philanthropist of the Year Award

Miriam Emily Schwab Receives Posthumous 2019 Bernard Osher Philanthropist of the Year Award

LOS ANGELES, CA—November 25, 2019—Miriam Emily Schwab has posthumously been named the 2019 Bernard Osher Philanthropist of the Year in recognition of her significant contributions as a local philanthropist and long-time supporter of Ventura College. Miriam’s contributions were honored in a ceremony on November 22 at the Community College League of California’s Annual Convention.

Miriam was a music lover who played the violin for the Ventura College Symphony Orchestra for over 15 years. Her love of music led to a generous $12 million dollar estate gift in 2018 to the Ventura College Music Department, which helped establish the inaugural Miriam and Henry Schwab Academy of Music in the summer of 2019. Miriam was also a devoted swimmer who would often be seen swimming in the Ventura College pool. To encourage future swimmers, Miriam also gifted a portion of her legacy for the Ventura College Aquatic Programs.

“Students attending Ventura College will benefit from Miriam’s legacy for decades to come,” states Bobbi Abram, President of the Network of California Community College Foundations, “and this lasting impact really gets at the heart of why philanthropy can be so transformative on our campuses.”

The Bernard Osher Philanthropist of the Year award recognizes distinguished philanthropic contributions to the California Community Colleges and is selected by the Network of California Community College Foundations (Network), an association of professionals dedicated to philanthropy. The award is presented to an individual, corporation, or nonprofit organization who demonstrates a commitment to philanthropy and serves as a role model to encourage philanthropy for California Community Colleges.

The award is named after Mr. Bernard Osher for his history-making commitment to community college students in 2008. The Bernard Osher Foundation pledged an unprecedented lead gift of $25 million and committed additional match dollars, which ultimately resulted in the establishment of a $76 million statewide scholarship endowment.


The Network of California Community College Foundations seeks to elevate the role of philanthropy at California Community Colleges by supporting the needs of students and faculty in pursuit of exemplary student success and a world-class, highly educated workforce. To learn more, please visit ncccfweb.org.

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