University announces details of $7 million gift to benefit Hispanic students

Updated: June 10, 2015 at 10:43 a.m.

A $7 million gift announced at last month’s Board of Trustees meeting will go toward developing an institute and a scholarship fund, both to benefit Hispanic students on campus, according to a University release.

Alumnus Gilbert Cisneros and his wife Jacki Cisneros donated the $7 million to establish the GW Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute, which will run pre-college programs for high school juniors and seniors that focus on leadership and what it’s like to attend “selective universities,” the release reported. At least $250,000 of that sum will go toward scholarships every year, which are renewable for four years.

“Our goal is to have the institute help these students feel more at home in a higher education environment, while providing them with mentorship programs and networking opportunities led by successful Hispanics in Washington,” Gilbert Cisneros, who received his bachelor’s in 1994, said in the release.

Board of the Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell revealed the gift at the Board’s meeting last month.

The pre-college program is open to anyone who’s interested in leadership and service in the Hispanic community, but Hispanic applicants will be preferred, according to the release. The first session will begin next summer, and the first round of scholars will start next fall.

In 2010, the couple won $266 million in California’s MEGA Millions jackpot lottery, and have since donated more than $1 million to the University’s financial aid fund.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that $250,000 of the Cisneros gift would go to a scholarship fund. At least $250,000 will go toward scholarships every year. We regret this error.

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