A historic gift

Expanding Educational Access


n March, Monmouth announced the largest single gift in its 90-year history, an outright gift of $21 million from an anonymous donor. The gift will establish a new scholarship program that will aid generations of undergraduate students who meet specific academic and financial criteria by helping provide access to a private university education that would otherwise be financially challenging or unattainable for them.

“This transformational gift is a true game-changer for our students,” President Patrick F. Leahy said. “Promoting and supporting social mobility is one of the most important things we can do in higher education, and this commitment is squarely aligned with Monmouth University’s ambition to integrate academic excellence and educational access like no other university in our category. We are extremely grateful that our generous benefactor shares this commitment.”

The gift was structured with $20 million dollars invested in a perpetual endowment and $1 million deployed for immediate scholarship use, with the intention of supporting academically high-achieving students at the greatest financial risk.

Incoming first-year student Nicholas Santo, one of the first 25 recipients of the scholarship, spoke about the impact the gift had on him. A first-generation student who aspires to attend medical school, Santo said Monmouth was his first-choice school but he was unsure whether he could afford it. “Finding out that I was one of the scholarship recipients was a huge relief to me and my family,” he said.

Amanda Klaus ’09, vice president for University Advancement, emphasized the lifelong impact the gift will have.

“This historic gift’s true benefit will be demonstrated when we see deserving students graduate and succeed in careers of their choice that will help provide them with long-term financial security, allowing them to transform their lifelong personal and financial trajectories,” Klaus said. “This is the real power of education, and I hope this lead gift will inspire others to support scholarships.”