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December 10, 2012

Swarthmore Patron Breaks Own Record with $50-Million Gift

Swarthmore College announced a $50-million donation Saturday from Eugene Lang, a 1938 graduate of the Pennsylvania liberal arts institution and its biggest benefactor, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The gift is the largest in Swarthmore's history, surpassing a $30-million gift that Lang, the 93-year-old founder of REFAC Technology Development Corp., gave in 1997. College President Rebecca Chopp said college officials would begin on Monday to decide how to use his latest contribution, with a focus on nurturing ties on campus among academic disciplines.

Mr. Lang is believed to have been the youngest student ever at Swarthmore, receiving a full scholarship at 15 and earning an economics degree. He is also known for establishing the I Have a Dream Foundation, which provides mentoring and tuition support to help students in low-income communities attend college.