News Release

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler
(818) 677-2130

Randy Rhoads Memorial Scholarship Endowment
at CSUN Nearly Doubles with Gift from His Mother

(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., March 20, 2006) -- Delores Rhoads, mother of the late guitar phenom Randy Rhoads, has added $20,000 to the scholarship endowment she established more than 10 years ago at Cal State Northridge as a tribute to her son.

The endowment, now worth $45,000, supports scholarships for talented guitar students with financial need. The Randy Rhoads Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually by CSUN's Department of Music.

"The Randy Rhoads endowment has provided scholarship funds to more than 30 students. Many of these students have been able to continue their education, some even pursuing a master's degree in performance," said music professor Ron Purcell.

"As a music teacher for more than half a century, Delores Rhoads attends the auditions and overhears the performances," Purcell said. "Both talent and financial need are the two criteria she and the guitar faculty use in making their final selections. The students are awed by her presence and are inspired to do their best. The endowment continues to grow, as does her legacy."

Randy Rhoads gained international fame while playing with heavy metal rock legend Ozzie Osbourne, but his musical talents drew attention from respected guitarists at a young age.

Rhoads, who was born in 1956, started taking guitar lessons about the age of 6 at Musonia, a North Hollywood music school founded and still operated by his mother. He quickly mastered the instrument, becoming proficient in both classical and folk guitar, and earning a reputation as a talented artist. He didn't start playing rock guitar until he was 12 and was performing with local bands by the age of 14.

In 1976, Rhoads and a couple friends formed the acclaimed Los Angeles metal band Quiet Riot. During the day, Rhoads taught at his mother's school. Though the band gained a following in Japan, it didn't attract a similar following across the United States.

However, Rhoads' reputation as an innovative and dedicated musician grew, and drew the attention of Ozzie Osbourne, who was forming his own group. Rhoads became Osbourne's lead guitarist in 1979, performing on his first two solo albums, "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman," and joining him on tour.

While Osbourne may have been the front man, Rhoads quickly gained an international reputation for his guitar work. In 1981-82, he received Guitar Player Magazine's "Best New Talent Award" and "Best New Guitarist" by England's Sounds Magazine.

Rhoads was killed in a small plane crash in March 1982 while on tour with Osbourne.

Delores Rhoads said her son had developed a passion for classical guitar and had expressed an interest in pursuing a master's in classical guitar about the time of his death. She said she created the scholarship fund in 1993 at CSUN in his memory. Over the past 10 years, Delores Rhoads also has made several substantial donations to the university's International Guitar Research Archive to establish and catalog the Randy Rhoads Library within the archive—created by guitar majors from the music department. In all, she has contributed $75,000 to the university to honor her son's memory.

"I wanted to help those that have the opportunity to go on and do what Randy didn't have a chance to do," she said.

California State University, Northridge has 33,000 full- and part-time students and offers 63 bachelor's and 48 master's degrees as well as 28 education credential programs. Founded in 1958, CSUN is among the largest single-campus universities in the nation and the only four-year public university in the San Fernando Valley. The university serves as the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Valley and beyond.

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