Bates College announced on Tuesday it would receive up to $ 50 million as a challenge gift from a Chicago billionaire, one of the largest scholarship donations ever made to a college in Maine .
Schuler Education Foundation funds, which will be matched dollar for dollar with other donor donations over the next five years, will fund Bates’ expansion of financial aid, according to a statement from hurry. Lewiston’s private liberal arts school said it aims to increase the number of aid-eligible, low-income, undocumented students by 50% over the next decade.
Bates, founded in 1855, currently has a total enrollment of around 2,000 students.
The Schuler Education Foundation was established by Jack Schuler, 81, entrepreneur and former president and chief operating officer of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) who has an estimated net worth of $ 1.1 billion, the magazine reported. Forbes earlier this year.
The foundation’s Schuler Access initiative plans to award up to 20 U.S. colleges and universities a total of $ 500 million by 2031 to increase the number of students whose financial needs qualify them for federal grants Pell, or whose undocumented status makes them ineligible for federal aid. programs.
Bates is one of five schools in the United States chosen as the initiative’s first partners. The others are Carleton College, Northfield, Minn .; Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio; Union College, Schenectady, NY; and Tufts University, Medford, Mass.
The Schuler Challenge giveaway is a “game changer,” Bates chairman Clayton Spencer said in the statement.
“Bates was founded by people who believed in the power of education to develop the full potential of every human being. This extraordinary investment from the Schuler Education Foundation, combined with the generosity of Bates donors, gives us the means to renew this foundational vision in a very real and tangible way.
John D. Gillespie, Chairman of the College Board, said, “Combined with the great generosity of the Bates community, this new grant creates an extraordinarily meaningful and powerful $ 100 million partnership. There is no doubt that it will be transformative, not only for the individuals it touches, but for this institution. “
Schuler’s daughter, Tanya Schuler Sharman, said in a separate press release: “The Schuler Access Initiative will allow the first five colleges, and hopefully many more, to open more seats. for these deserving students and to advance the important conversation that liberal arts institutions need. having to bridge the gap in an unequal society.
In addition to the challenge giveaway, Bates is currently close to completing a $ 300 million fundraising campaign, the largest in college history. Launched in 2015, the Bates campaign raised a total of $ 263 million. Bates’ previous record was a $ 121 million fundraising campaign that ended in 2006.