Two Penn graduates donated $10 million to the University to provide financial aid to first-generation, low-income students from New York City, Penn Today reported.
1992 College graduate Mindy Gray and 1992 College and Wharton graduate Jon Gray made the donation, which will fund all tuition and expenses for a group of 10 highly aided students, Penn Today reported. Ten percent of the donation will also be set aside to fund summer grants for Penn scholarship recipients. The first group of 10 students was selected from the Class of 2023.
Jon Gray is chair of the board of Hilton Worldwide and president and chief operating officer of Blackstone, a leading investment firm. Mindy Gray is chair of Penn's Basser Center Leadership Council, a Penn Medicine board member, and a founding board member of New York City Kids RISE, a nonprofit that helps families in New York City develop college savings plans.
“As a member of the first generation in my family to attend college,” Mindy Gray told Penn Today, “I never take for granted how Penn opened the doors of higher learning for me. These are smart, hard-working students who deserve the same.”
Penn has been making efforts to support FGLI students in recent months. This past summer, the Greenfield Intercultural Center announced that it was searching for a full-time FGLI Program coordinator. Penn has also outlined plans to create an office for Penn First Plus, which is scheduled to open for the next academic year.
The Grays support a number of other Penn programs, Penn Today reported. They donated $25 million in 2012 to found the Basser Research Center, which is focused on the treatment and prevention of cancers caused by mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The Gray Foundation also gave a $3 million grant to Katherine Nathanson, deputy director of Penn's Abramson Cancer Center, to study how breast cancer affects the immune system.
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