Cash Prizes

Six UCSB seniors receive unexpected cash awards for academic achievement

Six graduating women from UC Santa Barbara will receive cash prizes totaling $49,500 from the defunct Santa Barbara City Club, whose members decades ago created the program out of a desire to reward the campus’s top female grads for their academic efforts and achievements.

The City Club Prize, believed to be one of the largest undergraduate cash awards in the nation, is divided annually among the highest academically achieving women majoring in a social science at UCSB. As calculated by computer, the women with the top six grade-point averages in the social sciences receive the cash prizes, in amounts based on their individual rankings. The awards generally come as a complete surprise to the recipients, who may spend the money however they wish.

The winners for 2016, their majors and prize amounts are:

Amy Tom, economics and accounting: $9,500

Jenna Thompson, economics and accounting: $9,000

Zoe Monty-Montalvo, sociology: $8,500

Gisella Diaz, anthropology and psychology: $8,000

Maritza Anaya Gonzalez, sociology: $7,500

Risa Christine Voss Jensen, communication: $7,000

The Santa Barbara City Club was established in the 1920s by a group of women who were interested in the political process and wanted to become more involved. When the club disbanded in 1978 and sold its property, it gifted the proceeds to UCSB with the stipulation that interest income from the gift be used annually “to reward the achievements of women who best exemplify the ideals of the club.”

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