September 28, 2015

Gifts Roundup: Catholic and Charter Schools Get Millions of Dollars

Gareth Smit, The New York Times, Redux

The $40-million gift to the Inner-City Scholarship Fund will provide financial aid to children who attend Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Archdiocese of New York

The financier Stephen Schwarzman, and his wife, Christine, a former attorney, gave $40 million to help endow the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, which provides financial aid to needy children attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese.

The donation is the lead gift in an effort to raise $125 million to endow the scholarship program. The Archdiocese will provide another $40 million and the rest will be raised from other donors.

Ms. Schwarzman serves on the board of trustees of the scholarship fund. Mr. Schwarzman founded Blackstone, a global asset-management firm.

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Stephen and Christine Schwarzman also pledged $10 million toward expansion of the Kennedy Center’s campus.

The center received an additional $10 million commitment toward the project from Jacqueline Badger Mars, an heiress to the Mars candy company fortune, and smaller donations toward the expansion from other individuals.

Campbell University Law School

G. Eugene Boyce, an attorney, and his wife, Pat, gave $8 million in cash and property to the law school to establish the G. Eugene Boyce Center of Advocacy. The center will house the law school’s advocacy program and training programs on the use of new courtroom technologies during trials.

Mr. Boyce served as assistant chief counsel to the Watergate Committee and was an investigator in the discovery of President Nixon’s White House taping system.


Joel Smilow, a retired chief executive of International Playtex Inc., gave $4.2 million to KIPP DC charter school to renovate and expand its campus. The school for students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade will be named for him.

University of California at Davis

Bita Daryabari, a former Silicon Valley software engineer, gave $1.5 million gift to expand the university’s Persian-studies program.

The money will be used to establish a professorship in Persian language and literature and will support a colloquium on Iranian culture.

Ms. Daryabari founded the Pars Equality Center in 2010, a social-services charity that helps Iranian immigrants and refugees start a new life in America.

University of Missouri

William Trogdon, a well-known travel author who writes under the pen name William Least Heat-Moon, and his wife, Jo Ann, an attorney and historian, pledged $1.5 million to support a rare-books and special-collections endowment for the university’s libraries.

The money will help the university purchase and conserve rare materials in the fields of American exploration, travel and topography, and Native-American studies.

The couple also gave $100,000 for scholarships for disabled students in the university’s School of Health Professions.

Mr. Trogdon earned two bachelor’s degrees plus a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the university, and has taught English there.

To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated throughout the week.

Send an e-mail to Maria Di Mento.