Former Washington College President Sheila Bair donated $20,000 to the school’s Washington Scholars program, bringing to $1 million her personal donations for the program.
Sheila Bair, who during her tenure as Washington College’s president created a scholarship program for high-achieving, high-need students, today donated $20,000 to the College, bringing to $1 million her personal donations for the Washington Scholars program to date.
“The Washington Scholars program has been a game-changer in creating a more diverse student body, drawing brilliant, ambitious young people from under-represented socio-economic groups to our community,” said President Kurt Landgraf upon accepting Bair’s contribution. “We’re grateful not only for President Bair’s extraordinary generosity and support of the College and its students, but also for her foresight in developing this innovative and necessary scholarship opportunity for these students.”
Initiated in 2016 and called, at that time, George’s Brigade, the Washington Scholars program provides full tuition, room, and board to an elite cohort of students who have shown that they are passionate and dedicated to their academic pursuits, but whose economic situation may preclude a higher education. Bair’s goal was to help these students gain all the benefits that a Washington College education could provide while ensuring that they graduated without the financial burden of student loan debt.
“For donors considering how to support Washington College, endowed scholarships provide the most enduring benefit,” Bair said. “The returns on this million dollars will fully support two Washington Scholars every year in perpetuity.”
As of late June 2019, the program had $1.7 million committed for current scholarship and related programming support, along with $6.1 million in endowment funds. Including those in the incoming class of 2023, 46 students are Washington Scholars program students, and the first cohort, which matriculated in 2016, is set to graduate in May 2020.