Alumni donate more than $22 million toward financial aid

Media Credit: File Photo by Arielle Bader | Assistant Photo Editor

The largest gifts amount to $15 million and $6 million from two alumni legacy families.

GW received more than $22.5 million in gifts to be used toward financial aid, officials announced in a release Thursday.

The largest gifts came from the estates of Mary and Josephine Shepard as well as the estate of Mildred Bland Miller, two alumni legacy families who donated more than $15 million and $6 million, respectively. The donations will be used to create need-based scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students next academic year, officials said.

“We are grateful to the Shepard and Miller families for their long-standing commitment to the success and future of GW,” University President Thomas LeBlanc said in the release. “We hope that this begins a new tradition of legacy giving that will have tremendous impact for our students for years to come.”

Administrators said the Shepards’ gift is the largest one-time donation by an alum in GW’s history.

Undergraduates receiving the scholarship on behalf of the Shepard family will be known as Shepard Scholars, according to the release. The family also created a second scholarship to be given to graduate students, called the Mary Hopkinson Shepard Endowed Graduate Fellowship for Science.

Officials said the contribution from the Miller estate will fund scholarships to first-year undergraduate students, who will be called Miller Scholars.

LeBlanc also said he designated approximately $1.5 million from 15 other bequests to provide financial assistance to students through need-based grants and scholarships.

“Student aid has the power to change lives and futures for promising students who might not otherwise be able to afford higher education.” LeBlanc said. “We are grateful for the generosity of GW alumni whose legacy will live on in the students they benefit from their support.”

Officials said these scholarships emphasize GW’s focus on addressing critical student needs and increasing students’ access to education.

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