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May 17, 2011

Soros-Led Fund Gives $60-Million to Bard College for Global Work

The Open Society Foundations is donating $60-million to New York State's Bard College to advance the liberal-arts school's burgeoning international projects, The New York Times writes.

The grant, equal to nearly 30 percent of the small Hudson Valley college's endowment, will help ensure the growth of Bard's academic programs in Kyrgyzstan,  Nicaragua, and Russia and elsewhere and bring them under the aegis of a new Bard College Center for Civic Engagement.

George Soros, the billionaire financier who founded Open Society Foundations, said he generally does not give to colleges in the United States, but the new grant “represents a departure that will help Bard in its efforts to transform liberal education and bolster critical thinking worldwide.”

The gift carries a requirement for the school to raise $120-million from other donors, but it will begin receiving the Open Society money before the goal is met.

Read a profile of Mr. Soros and his often controversial giving in the new issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy.