The California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) established the Robert M. O’Dell endowed scholarship fund in April 1987, with a gift of $71,000, primarily the result of contributions from hundreds of private sector companies in support of the 1986 GFOA Conference in Los Angeles, to honor the former city treasurer of Los Angeles. The scholarships are awarded on an alternating basis between northern and southern geographic regions of California to the 17 campuses offering degree programs in public administration. Four (4) scholarships for the amount of $2,000 each will be awarded for the academic year. Eligible campuses are rotated between northern and southern California each year.

To be eligible, applicants must be currently enrolled as a full-time upper division or graduate student in a public administration major and must remain in good academic standing. Strong consideration is giving to students emphasizing finance and first-generation college students.