After 25 Years, It’s Back to the Books

In the 1980s, Jodi Todd was just two semesters shy of finishing her undergraduate degree in accounting at UM. But after getting married and having children, she realized she had to put her studies on hold to provide for her family. She never got around to graduating.
 
Until now.
 
Flash forward to today, and you’ll find Todd at work again on her bachelor’s degree, thanks in part to the Osher Reentry Scholarship Program.

Jodi Todd

The program supports students ages 25-50 who have at least a five-year gap in their education. Students must demonstrate academic promise, financial need and a commitment to obtaining their degrees.
 
“I’ve always believed that education is a lifelong process,” says Todd. “I am challenged today in different ways, but I have enjoyed getting my degree much more this time.”
 
Bernard and Barbro Osher, California philanthropists, provide the funding through their foundation for the Osher Reentry Scholarship Program. The Oshers began supporting UM students three years ago with $50,000 in funding. This year, they provided permanent funding for the scholarships with a $1 million endowment at the UM Foundation.  
 
For the past 11 years, Todd has worked in accounting at UM, first in the College of Forestry and Conservation, and, since 2011, as a grant support specialist in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“The value of education and a sense of accomplishment drive me today,” Todd says. “It was a challenge for me to apply as an Osher Reentry Scholar, but getting the award has helped a lot, especially because we had two kids also in college. Now my education is complimentary to the field in which I have worked for the past 25 years.”
 
Todd has passed along her belief in the importance of education – as well as her love of UM – to her two children. Her son graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in resource conservation, and her daughter is currently a sophomore.