In honor of Richard Gross and our 60th anniversary, Salon Success Academy will be giving away 60 Founder’s Cosmetology scholarships!
If you are a current Cosmetology student or have been thinking about becoming one, now is the time to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Winners of our Founder’s Cosmetology Scholarships could qualify for a $1000 tuition reduction or a MUD Make-up Beauty Essentials training course and supplies (also valued at $1000), or both!
Who was Richard Gross?
Richard Gross graduated from Los Angeles’s Fairfax high school in 1946. He would go on to attend the Hollywood College of Beauty in 1956 and earned a diploma in Advanced Hairdressing. Richard became a licensed cosmetologist when he passed his state board exam on February 11th, 1957. Richard’s Beauty School was established in San Bernardino in 1960.
A local celebrity in the Inland Empire, a respected salon owner, and an award-winning stylist, Richard Gross was always passionate about the industry and those in it. He was relentlessly protective of his students and understood the need to work with the state’s legislature to effect positive change in the industry. Richard was a founder of the Regional Occupational Program which helps thousands of students earn credit towards graduating every year.
In the 1970s, Richard went to Vidal Sassoon’s training to learn the ground-breaking cutting techniques of the famed stylist in order to pass what he learned to his staff so they could teach their students. Richard worked tirelessly to improve his schools and even earned a business degree from the University of La Verne.
From Richard’s Beauty College to Salon Success Academy
Sixty years ago, Richard transformed a single salon into a school with the goal of sharing his love for the craft with others. Today, over 25,000 industry professionals have graduated from Salon Success Academy and Richard’s dream carries on.
Richard Gross would be proud to see his schools today. His passion for training and advocating for Cosmetology students and the industry as a whole was evident in all that he did.
According to the current owner and president of Salon Success Academy Robert Gross, “My dad really established the industry in the state of California”. “My dad helped find the Regional Occupational Program that allowed high school students to earn credit toward their diplomas at the same time they trained to become cosmetologists,” says Robert. Robert is proud of the fact that his father “helped the beauty industry get the respect it deserved”.
“My dad was always cutting-edge in terms of the education he offered,” says Robert. “Back then, he formalized what would be taught, put together lesson plans, created the structure of the program and classes, and provided guidelines for the teachers. But that wasn’t where it ended. He was always learning more and sharing that knowledge with his staff and his students.”
The Family Legacy Lives On
Richard’s legacy continues through the work of his son Robert and his grandchildren Megan and Jeff. Jeff is the VP of Operations and Megan is VP of Administration now, but the school has always been a part of their lives. Megan remembers getting treated to manicures and using the mannequin heads as dolls as a child. Jeff recalls coming to the schools to get his haircut and helping his father build out some of the campuses.
Salon Success Academy has been a part of the family for Megan and Jeff’s entire lives. Even though Richard was retired by the time they were working there, they both remember their grandfather as fun and inspiring.
“In honor of our grandfather, we really wanted to do something for the 60th anniversary,” says Jeff. “We were going to do a special graduation party, inviting former students from over the years but because of social distancing, we can’t”.
COVID-19 may have stalled hopes for a formal celebration, but the Gross family wanted to honor Richard in one way or another. “We can’t throw the party we dreamed of, but the scholarships are one way to celebrate and also a way to honor a really great guy. I think he’d be so proud to see where his dream has led”.
How to Qualify for the Founder’s Cosmetology Scholarships
Students need to be enrolled in the 1600-clock hour Cosmetology program with a start date on or after January 20, 2020 to be eligible for the scholarships. To receive the tuition award, you need to maintain a full-time schedule throughout the duration of your program.
In order to qualify for the MUD Beauty Essentials training and kit, you need to be currently enrolled as a full or Cosmetology student. For either award, you need to graduate within your originally contracted timeframe.:
- At 450/900/1250/1600 scheduled hours for tuition award
- At 450/900/1250 scheduled hours for MUD training