The New York Times examines what happened to a donor-funded program aimed at helping first-generation college students when the recipient universities stopped getting the contributor's checks. The Wealth Matters column by financial writer Paul Sullivan focuses on First Scholars, a program seeded by technology executive Eric Suder's family foundation to support students who are the first in their family to attend college.
The fund pledged $1 million to $2 million over four years to eight universities, which were to take over the programs when the foundation money ran out. The University of Alabama canceled First Scholars two weeks after receiving the final payment, prompting Mr. Suder to file a lawsuit alleging breach of contract. The university denied defaulting on any agreements. Some other recipients' commitments have also flagged, with Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the University of Kentucky no longer accepting new First Scholars.
However, the program has flourished at the University of Memphis since being taken over by the administration, Mr. Sullivan writes. In an e-mail statement to The Chronicle, the Suder Foundation said the program also continues to operate as envisioned at Washington State, Kansas State, and Northern Arizona universities.
Eric Suder discussed how to work with wealthy donors in a Chronicle webinar last year. Learn more.