Mysterious Donor Contributes Tens Of Millions To Universities

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Scores of colleges and universities across the country are assessing their financial positions, with many reeling from monies lost last fall when a severe stock market correction hammered their endowments. No school was immune, but at least for many of the larger, long established, and well known institutions, the monies lost hasn’t threatened the school’s viability.

moneyOver the past few months, a special donor has stepped forward who is presenting surprise gifts to a number of smaller or lesser known schools. Unlike most donors, this one has chosen to remain anonymous, known only to the banker who notified the school and cut one or more checks as gifts. So far at least one dozen colleges and universities across the country have received the surprising good news along with checks in the amount of one and a half million dollars or more according to The New York Times which recently ran this story.

Tens of Millions of Dollars Donated

To date, almost seventy million dollars has been distributed, monies which have been designated to help provide financial assistance for women and minorities with the rest of the funds to be used by the colleges as they see fit.

Though the donor has chosen to remain anonymous, that hasn’t stopped fund-raising professionals and college administrators from guessing who that person might be. Interestingly, the donor chose schools that are each headed by a woman president, further fueling the speculation. However, most schools are keeping such chatter to themselves, fearing that revealing who the donor is could jeopardize funding.

Michigan State Receives the Largest Donation

Michigan State is the largest recipient of funds, receiving ten million dollars from the secret donor followed by Purdue University which received eight million. Montclair State University, the University of Southern Mississippi, New York’s Binghamton University and UNC/Asheville were among the schools who received help. Only tiny Kalamazoo University in Michigan is a private school, the rest are public.

Each school has expressed their deep gratitude for the secret gifts, noting that as public institutions state funding cutbacks has been limiting their options when it comes to providing financial assistance to students. For several schools, the monies received were their largest gifts ever, surprise but welcome donations in a challenging economic climate.

Adv. — If you have already found the college you want to attend, get prepared to apply to that school in November. Otherwise do an online college search to find the schools of interest to you and print out a Summary Aid Map to help you plan your financial aid strategy.

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