Henry Coil accepting the award in 2014.

The 2021 Bernard Osher Philanthropist of the Year Event

Awarded to the Jay Pritzker Foundation

On March 9, 2022 the Network of California Community Colleges honored the Jay Pritzker Foundation as the 2021 Bernard Osher Philanthropist of the Year.  The virtual award ceremony was an inspiring and uplifting celebration of the Pritzker’s historic $100 million commitment to the Foundation for California Community Colleges to support the California Community Colleges and the students they serve. In case you missed it, or if you’d like to share the event with others, a recording is linked below.

Awardees Dan and Karen Pritzker will attend and be recognized by special guests:

The Honorable Eleni Kounalakis, Lieutenant Governor of California and California Community Colleges Board of Governors Member

Eloy Ortiz Oakley, California Community Colleges Chancellor

Keetha Mills, Foundation for California Community Colleges President and Chief Executive Officer

Geoff Green, Network of California Community College Foundations President and Santa Barbara City College Foundation Chief Executive Officer 


The Pritzker’s commitment has been used to launch the Finish Line Scholars program at 34 colleges across the state, and is a wonderful example of the many ways philanthropic gifts to the California Community Colleges can have real and lasting impact on the lives of students. Sixty-nine percent of California Community College students are from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and forty-seven percent of students are very low income. As we heard from grateful students in the award ceremony, their ability to remain in college through the generosity of the Pritzker’s gift had and continues to have a dramatic, positive effect not only on their own lives but also on the well-being of their families and communities. 

Learn more about the impact of this incredible gift and hear from students in a short video below.