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Leaders and Legends 2015 Information

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Each year thousands of highly skilled students across our state cannot attend college, only because of their economic circumstances. College Success Arizona provides scholarships and intensive mentoring needed to help these high potential students succeed in college, and then contribute to Arizona’s economy and society.

Since 2005, College Success Arizona has committed nearly $14 million in scholarships, and success services, to over 1,000 Arizona students. Our Leaders and Legends fundraiser supports the College Success Arizona program, and provides all scholars a full time Success Advisor, to help clear barriers to educational success. Even though our students are considered “at-risk,” they have a 71% graduation rate; significantly higher than their counterparts across the state. While it is vital for the state to award more degrees, the stories of how College Success Arizona scholars benefit are the most compelling reasons for the work we do.

Leaders and Legends is an annual fundraising luncheon honoring an Arizona business leader or organization, dedicated to improving the college graduation rates for all Arizonans.  This year’s event will take place on Thursday, October 29th in the Grand Ballroom of the Arizona Biltmore.

Robert Sarver reduced 2 inchWe are thrilled to announce that this  year’s honoree is Robert Sarver, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Western Alliance Bancorporation, one of the fastest growing, publicly-traded bank holding companies in the U.S.  Locally, Western Alliance operates as Alliance Bank of Arizona. Also, Mr. Sarver has been the managing partner of the Phoenix Suns for the last 11 years. During his tenure, the team has produced the fifth-best winning percentage in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Mr. Sarver serves on the board of directors of Meritage Corporation, the NBA, the Weil Foundation, and the Sarver Heart Center at the University of Arizona. We look forward to hearing more about Mr. Sarver’s perspective on the importance of higher education to Arizona’s future.

Past Leaders and Legends honorees have included Derrick Hall, Don Smith, Salt River Project, John Zidich, and Rich Dozer.

PaolaAdditionally, the program will highlight a College Success Arizona Scholar who will shares his or her personal college success story. As an example, Paola is an incredibly talented scholar, double-majoring in neuroscience and cognitive science learning and psychology. From Yuma, she will graduate from the U of A, in the spring. Paola takes great pride in helping others and hopes to become a neurosurgeon. Throughout high school, she worked nearly full-time to help support her family and still participated in a variety of extracurricular activities; all while maintaining a high GPA. At the U of A, she takes on 18 credit hours a semester, is part of the Flying Sam’s club and Bio Chemistry club, while also working on campus as a test proctor. Despite her large workload, Paola maintains a 3.81 GPA and has made the Dean’s List all 3 years. She attributes her perseverance to her mother’s work ethic, whom she says “never complained”, even during difficult times.

Please support College Success Arizona’s students by attending, sponsoring the luncheon, or donating generously. For your convenience, see our sponsor package for full details.


We look forward to seeing you on October 29th.

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