Centre College ― a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-related liberal arts school in rural Kentucky ― has received a $250 million donation, one of the largest single gifts in higher education history, according to the Associated Press.
Centre, which hosted vice-presidential debates in 2000 and 2012, received the all-stock gift from the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust. According to the AP, the only larger gift to a U.S. school in recent years was a $350 million donation to Johns Hopkins University by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The money will be used to establish the Brockman Scholars Program in Leadership and Entrepreneurship, according to a Centre College press release. Forty new Brockman Scholarships will be funded each year beginning in the fall of 2014 for students majoring in the natural sciences, computational sciences, and economics.
Selected on the basis of merit, Brockman Scholars will receive “full-ride-plus” scholarships that provide tuition, room and board, and fees, along with funds to support study abroad experiences and summer research and internship opportunities.
“This magnificent gift establishing the Brockman Scholars Program marks a fundamental transformation in Centre College’s ability to support students whose hard work, character, and intellect have demonstrated their potential for leadership,” said Centre President John A. Roush.
“The problems and the opportunities confronting our nation and world are increasingly complex,” Roush continued, “and the Brockman Scholars Program will empower talented young women and men with the knowledge, creativity, and integrity necessary to address them.”
“The A. Eugene Brockman Trust chose to make this gift and establish this program at Centre College for several reasons,” said Evatt Tamine, trustee of the Brockman Trust. “First, Mr. Brockman saw firsthand the tremendous impact that Centre had on his son, Bob, whose own drive and ambition were empowered by his experience as a Centre student.
“Also the Trust believes that preparation for leadership and service in a rapidly changing world best takes place with the firm intellectual, moral, and social grounding that young people receive especially well at Centre,” Tamine continued.
Centre expects enrollment of about 1,370 students for the fall semester. The school ranked 52nd nationally among liberal arts colleges in last year’s ratings from U.S. News & World Report, but it ranked fifth in best undergraduate teaching and alumni giving.
A prior $19.5 million gift from the Brockman Trust went for construction of a dorm for upperclassmen that opened a year ago. The latest gift comes amid the school’s $500 million fundraising campaign leading up to Centre’s bicentennial celebration in January 2019.