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Western Michigan University receives $550 million from anonymous alumni

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Flickr user Michigan Municipal League

Western Michigan University has received a $550 million donation from anonymous alumni. It’s thought to be the largest single gift ever given to a public university in the U.S.

Western President Edward Montgomery says the donation, known as the Empowering Futures Gift, will be delivered to the WMU Foundation over the next 10 years.He says at the money will benefit Western and its students at many levels.

“It’ll fund scholarships, advance medical education and research, support faculty expertise, increase athletic competitiveness and make possible numerous other initiatives which will help us holistically develop students into graduates with purpose who will find meaningful careers and live lives well lived.”

Montgomery says the funding will be split three ways. $300 million will go to the Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, another $200 million will go to the University, and Bronco Athletics will get $50 million.

Lynn Chen-Zhang says the gift will make the university more affordable to students from underrepresented groups.

“Because of this extraordinary philanthropy we will have so many fellow, countless fellow Broncos who will go on to their journey to fulfill their career aspirations.”

Dean of the medical school Paula Termuhlen says many medical students face financial hardships, which can stop them from pursuing their education. She says the Empowering Futures Gift will change that.

“The Empowering Futures Gift is going to help students most importantly, and allow them to go to medical school and not have to worry about the financial pressure. We anticipate that we will be able to create enough scholarship dollars that every single one of our students will receive something.”

The donation will be delivered to the WMU Foundation over the next 10 years.

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