Beetham Family Scholarship Supports Science Students

Donation creates largest scholarship in Southwestern’s history


Photo of Janet & Dennis Beetham

Janet & Dennis Beetham


Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation and the Beetham Family are pleased to announce the creation of a permanent $500,000 scholarship endowment fund for science students training for careers in engineering, chemistry and physics.

“This is a game-changer. These scholarships will have a huge impact on students and our ability to recruit them into science programs,” said Dr. Patty Scott, Southwestern president.

The largest scholarship donation in the college’s history, the Beetham Family fund will help approximately 20 students or more annually. It is designed to support students enrolled in demanding science and math courses, who want to pursue transfer degrees and specialized careers.

“These students will be our future innovators,” said Dennis Beetham in announcing his family’s investment. “We want local students to have the same opportunities to learn as students from other places. Our goal is for them to have the ability to take on the challenges facing our manufacturing, engineering and energy industries, and solve problems impacting our environment.”

Some of the scholarship funds will be available in the 2020-21 school year, when the college’s new Health & Science Technology Building opens.The college will break ground on the 36,300 square-foot building this spring. In anticipation of the project’s completion, the college already has begun to expand its physics and chemistry classes.

“We desperately needed a scholarship fund for our science students,” said Foundation Executive Director Elise Hamner. “Ninety percent of our first-time, full-time degree-seeking students relying on scholarships, financial aid and loans to make it through college. The Beethams’ fund will have an immediate positive impact, and because this is a permanent endowment, it will help our science students forever.”

The Foundation’s scholarship application season runs January 1 through March 1 annually. Each year, the Foundation awards approximately $130,000 to 100 students. For more information about supporting scholarships or volunteering as a scholarship reader, please call 531.888.7209 or 541.888.7211.