Emerson College has received a $2 million donation for financial aid, the largest gift in the school’s history made to help curb tuition costs.
President Lee Pelton said in a phone interview that the money will be allocated to approximately 20 to 25 disadvantaged students. This gift, combined with other donations, “will help give young people a shot at the American dream,” he said.
“We’re very pleased and delighted that Leo and Patti made this commitment to our students and to our aim make the Emerson college educational experience available to all students regardless of their socio-economic status,” Pelton said.
Media executives Leo Hindery Jr., managing partner of InterMedia Partners, and his wife, Patti Wheeler Hindery, former executive vice president of the SPEED channel, jointly donated the $2 million, the college said in a statement Thursday. A number of the students supported by the endowment will be the first in their families to attend college.
“It’s critical for the good of the nation that the media industry attracts the best students and practitioners, and that they reflect in every aspect our nation’s diversity,” Leo Hindery, Jr., who received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Emerson in 2003, said in the statement. “In our careers, Patti and I have seen no school or institution which appreciates both this imperative and the media industry’s ethical responsibilities more than Emerson College.”
Approximately $1.75 million of the donation will go to support need-based financial aid, the statement said. Another $200,000 will be given to disadvantaged students with out-of-pocket expenses for co-curricular activities including research initiatives, film projects, and travel for conferences. For the next five years, $10,000 a year will support the Emerson College Annual Fund, which raises money for scholarships, academic programs, and financial aid.
“We know that students who are from certain social and economic backgrounds tend not to have the money that other students might have to fund film projects and study abroad,” Pelton said. “And so what this gift does is it helps to equalize these experiences for many of our students.”
Katherine Landergan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.
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