Salem State University (SSU) alumna Kim Gassett-Schiller has awarded a record $6 million cash donation to her alma mater, a gift that will be used to improve university services and financially support undergraduate students who are on the cusp of finishing their degrees.
The school announced the news on Thursday, confirming that the Schillers’ gift is the largest donation that any state university in Massachusetts has ever received.
Around $5 million will be used to establish the Viking Completion Grant Endowment that will mainly “assist undergraduate seniors in overcoming their final financial hurdle before graduation.” According to the school’s official statement, the initiative will launch this year and 50 to 75 students annually will benefit.
The remaining $1 million will go to the university’s Center for Academic Excellence and the campus fitness and recreation center.
“Kim and Philip have positively shaped the lives of thousands of students; their new gift will continue this impact for generations of learners to come. We are forever appreciative of and inspired by the Schillers’ philanthropy,” said SSU President John Keenan.
Gassett-Schiller graduated from SSU in 1983 with an accounting degree. Her first donation to the school was $1. Since then, she has consistently contributed to school programs.
Generous Initiatives and Donations
Underprivileged students at colleges and universities across the country continue to receive private, federal, and even institutional support so that they are able to earn their college degrees.
Netflix donated $3 million to Robert Morris University to create the school’s Next Century Scholarships, which “will cover all college expenses including room, board, and books, and will go to selected students entering the university in fall 2021.”
Mississippi State has also stepped up to help struggling students by providing more than $1.26 million in completion grants. Recipients will be students who are nearing graduation but may need more money to earn their diploma.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf also created the Nellie Bly Scholarship Program to provide financial assistance to around 44,000 students in the 14 universities within the state’s system.