Philanthropy News Blog

A roundup of philanthropic news.

This Week in Philanthropy: February 19th – February 26th

Knight Foundation Commits $300 Million to Support Local Journalism

The Knight Foundation hopes to bring life back to locally based journalism with a $300 million commitment to ensure that people who live in “news deserts” have a trusted source of information on their region.

The grants, which will be made over five years, are an attempt to build muscle in local newsrooms that have atrophied after years of staff cutbacks. Despite the increased access people have to information on their computers and mobile devices, the general public lacks a solid understanding of local issues, says Alberto Ibarguen, Knight’s president.

Full article text is available via The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 02/19/2019

Carroll University Receives $5.5 Million From Alumnus

Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has announced a $5.5 million gift from the estate of alumnus Bill Yersin (’63).

The single largest gift in the university’s history will support the school’s business program and establish the William B. Yersin Endowed Professor of Applied Business Analytics as well as two new scholarship programs, the Yersin Business Scholars program and the William B. Yersin Full Tuition Endowed Scholarship Fund. A smaller portion of the gift will help support the Adolph G. Yersin Full Tuition Endowed Scholarship Fund, which was created in 2006 by Bill Yersin and his mother and named in honor of Yersin’s father, while the remainder of the gift is unrestricted and will support the university’s strategic plan.

Full article text is available via Philanthropy News Digest, 02/20/2019

Gayle Benson to Donate $5 Million to Jesuit High — the Largest Gift in School History

Gayle Benson, the owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, will donate $5 million to Jesuit High School, the largest gift in the school’s history.

Benson announced the multi-million-dollar gift on Thursday night as part of a kickoff to the school’s “Minds & Hearts Enlightened Campaign,” a major fundraising effort for the school.

Benson’s gift will go toward improving the school’s athletic facilities, and Jesuit’s basketball arena will be renamed the Gayle and Tom Benson Arena in honor of her and her late husband.

Full article text is available via The Advocate, 02/21/2019

Georgetown University Announces $20 Million Gift

Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has announced a $20 million gift from Patricia and Jon M. Baker to establish the Baker Trust for Transformational Learning.

Set to launch this spring, the initiative initially will consist of three components: a Collaborative for Experiential Learning that connects programs within the McCourt School of Public Policy to diverse sources of learning experiences across the university; the Baker Catalyst Fund, which will support the creation of high-impact learning models for both students and recent alum; and the Baker Programs, which will build on existing programs at the university to enhance student learning opportunities.

Full text available via Philanthropy News Digest, 02/23/2019

Meet the Game Changers

Let’s start by stating the obvious: A $200 million gift doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s not the sort of thing that somebody does impulsively. Since establishing the McCall MacBain Foundation in 2007, John McCall MacBain, BA’80, LLD’14, and Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain have provided funding for a variety of philanthropic causes all over the world. Right from the beginning, though, they had a special interest in education and scholarships.

It’s an area in which they have had a tremendous impact. The foundation’s gift of 75 million pounds ($120 million Canadian at the time) to the Rhodes Trust in 2013 was a turning point for the Rhodes Scholarships, allowing the program to expand into new countries. John is one of the trustees of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, which supports scholarships for talented university students in Africa. The foundation played a pivotal role in the creation of the Kupe Leadership Scholarships in New Zealand – the top graduate scholarship program in that country. The McCall MacBains have also worked closely with the Loran Scholars Program in Canada, the country’s largest and most comprehensive four-year undergraduate award.

Full text available via McGill News Alumni Magazine, 02/25/2019

Washington University Receives $15 Million for Aging Research

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has announced a $15 million commitment from longtime supporters Philip and Sima Needleman in support of two centers dedicated to advancing promising research on chronic diseases of aging.

The gift includes $10 million to establish the Philip and Sima Needleman Center for Autophagy Therapeutics and Research, which will be dedicated to understanding autophagy, a cellular waste-cleansing process implicated in many processes that affect health, including infections, inflammatory diseases, diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis, and cancer. David H. Perlmutter, who will lead the center, likened autophagy to cellular vacuum cleaners and recycling systems: when the systems stop working, waste accumulates and cells stop functioning at their optimal level.

Full text available via Philanthropy News Digest, 02/26/2019

Multi-Million Dollar Donation Kicks Off Brain Tumor Research at UF

Harris Rosen donated $12 million to a UF-led initiative to advance brain tumor research after his 26-year-old son died from the disease last November.

On Friday, Rosen, an Orlando hotel tycoon, announced his donation to support ReMission Alliance Against Brain Tumors, an initiative to bring together physicians and scientists to advance research and clinical trials to cure brain tumors.

The donation will also result in improvements of a neuromedicine clinic at the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital in Gainesville and neuro-oncology laboratories within UF’s Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute, which will all be named in honor of Rosen’s late son, Adam Rosen.

Full text available via, 02/26/2019

UTC Receives $15M Donation, Third-Largest in History

The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (UTCH) says a Fund for Excellence will be created through a $15 million bequest that will support facilities, equipment, research and scholarship, thanks to the generosity of a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

UTC says the private funds will establish an endowment held and managed by the University of Chattanooga Foundation that the UTC chancellor may allocate for equipment and technology needs; facility enhancement, renovation or expansion; support for scholarly research; undergraduate and graduate student scholarships; and experiential learning opportunities for students.

Full text available via news channel 9, 02/26/2019



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