SMU eNews

SMU Celebrates 40th Anniversary of President Sharon Diaz by Raising Funds for Scholarships

It is fitting that a dinner on October 12 to honor President Sharon Diaz' 40th anniversary at Samuel Merritt University (SMU) will raise critically needed scholarship funds.

The lives and careers of students have long been a major priority for President Diaz.  In recent years, she has focused on making education accessible to disadvantaged and under-represented students.

"Sharon has always been someone who felt strongly about solving the problems of students," says Abby Heydman, former Dean of Nursing and Academic Vice President. "Now, she is concerned with helping them to obtain financial aid."

Because of the high costs of higher education, student loan debt in the United States has grown dramatically over the last decade. SMU is striving to ease the burden of educational costs for students by increasing its financial support of students through tuition subsidies. 

It is part of SMU's broader commitment to address unequal levels of healthcare quality, access and outcomes among diverse ethnic and socio-economic communities. To help achieve the goal of reducing healthcare disparities, SMU wants to educate diverse and culturally competent students who reflect the populations they will serve.

"The University has been privileged to educate hundreds of students who overcome challenging and unbelievable obstacles to pursue their dream to become a nurse, a physical or occupational therapist, physician assistant or podiatrist," says President Diaz. "Yet, each year, we learn how increasingly difficult it is for people interested in earning a SMU degree and their families."

The Sharon Clark Diaz Scholarship Dinner will take place on Saturday, October 12. Following are the event details for this celebratory evening that will help the University fulfill its goal of raising funds for student scholarships.

Where: Dunsmuir House, Oakland, California
When: Saturday, October 12, 6 p.m.
Tickets:  Individual ticket prices are available at $200 each with sponsorship opportunities ranging from $4,000 to $40,000
For more information: Call Office of Development and Alumni Affairs:
510-869-8628 or e-mail Gena Caya, Development Associate,


President Sharon Diaz with SMU Students
President Sharon Diaz with SMU Students