The Donald A. Strauss Public Service Scholarship Foundation was established as a memorial to the late Don Strauss of Newport Beach, and is now designed to award $10,000 scholarships to as many as 15 California college sophomores and juniors annually.

Don Strauss demonstrated a strong, life-long commitment to public service and education, reflected by his serving 10 years on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board, and 12 years on the Newport Beach City Council, including one as mayor.

He also founded summer internships in Washington, D.C., for students at Cornell University, Stanford University, the University of Rhode Island, the California Institute of Technology and Harvey Mudd College, and he endowed scholarships at Stanford, the University of California, Irvine and Harvey Mudd.  He died in 1995 at the age of 79.

Strauss’ widow, Dorothy M.R. Strauss, established the foundation in January of 1997 as a “tribute to the vision, ideals and leadership of Donald A. Strauss.” In its first year, the foundation board invited 10 universities to nominate up to three students each for Strauss scholarships, with the board making the final selection of the 10 winners.  (Dorothy Strauss saw her vision for the Foundation realized—she phoned each of the 10 first-year winners to notify them personally—before she passed away in October of 1997 at the age of 83.)

The year 2017 represented the induction of the 21st group of Strauss scholars, two of whom are “Inspire to Aspire” founders Ioannis Kournoutas and Sina Soltanzadeh Zarandi. Without the support and mentorship we have received from the Strauss Foundation, the goals and vision of our organization could not ever hope to be realized. It is with the same ideals and leadership of Don Strauss that we now go forward and try to make the world a better place, one step at a time.

For more information, please visit the Strauss Foundation website.