Sarah Chrisman Named to Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors

Sarah Chrisman, a former high-tech entrepreneur who parlayed breakout success in Silicon Valley into a second career as a local philanthropist of note, has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.

Born in Pasadena, Ms. Chrisman earned undergraduate degrees in music and mathematical sciences at Stanford University before obtaining an MBA from UC Berkeley. In 1982, she cofounded the telecommunications company Network Equipment Technologies in Cupertino, California, with Roger Chrisman, whom she later married. At the time of its listing on the New York Stock Exchange five years later, the company had revenue of nearly $400 million. Ms. Chrisman served as the firm’s CFO and treasurer before retiring in 1988 at age 33. The Chrismans relocated to Montecito in 1999, and have since generously supported an array of local nonprofits, including State Street Ballet, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, Opera Santa Barbara, and the Granada Theatre. She currently serves as a Board member for the latter two organizations and helps lead a pair of family foundations, the Warren and Katharine Schlinger Foundation and the Schlinger Chrisman Foundation. In 2015, the Chrismans were named Philanthropists of the Year for Santa Barbara County and received the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts Legends Award for Philanthropy. 

“Sarah Chrisman is renowned throughout our community as an individual of great generosity and civic vision. We are exceedingly pleased to welcome her to the Foundation Board,” said Scholarship Foundation interim President and CEO Barbara Robertson.

The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara is the nation’s largest community-based provider of college scholarships, having cumulatively awarded in excess of $108 million to more than 50,000 county students since its founding in 1962. A nonprofit organization, the Scholarship Foundation also provides free financial aid advising services. For additional information, visit

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