USM Foundation

Gifts Across the USM – Winter 2021

on February 16, 2021 by Micaela Cameron
  • In December, two USM schools received transformative gifts from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The unrestricted gifts of $25 million to Bowie State University and $20 million to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore are among the largest unrestricted gifts ever awarded to an institution within the USM. The gifts were part of $4.16 billion Scott donated to 384 organizations, which included 35 colleges and universities. These institutions are mainly community colleges, HBCUs, and institutions that enroll large numbers of Native American students. Scott’s gift will allow the two USM institutions to increase financial aid for students, invest in academic programs and innovations, and expand the institutions’ endowments.
  • The University of Maryland, Baltimore’s School of Nursing received a $13.83 million commitment from Bill and Joanne Conway. This is the largest donation in the School of Nursing’s history and the fourth gift from the Conways to the School of Nursing. The gift will create 345 Conway scholarships for students and will support renovations of the nursing building at the Universities at Shady Grove. In gratitude for the Conways’ ongoing generosity, which totals $30 million in gifts and commitments over the last six years, the School of Nursing deanship will carry the Conway name, becoming The Bill and Joanne Conway Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing.
  • The University of Maryland, College Park received a $6.2 million gift from Phill and Liz Gross, a Boston-based couple. The gift, along with a matching grant from the school and the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise Program, will award five freshmen from Montgomery County a four-year scholarship to the school, as well as entry to the Incentive Awards Program each year. The gift is the largest to the university since Darryll Pines became president in July 2020.
  • Nursing student McKenna Burke gifted $30,000 to Salisbury University’s Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center in her family’s honor in January. In addition, Burke’s brother, Keaton Burke, announced a $20,000 gift to the Salisbury University swimming program. The Burke family are loyal supporters of Salisbury University, contributing a number of generous gifts as well as their time and talent.
  • Towson University received a $3 million grant from The Kahlert Foundation, which is the institution’s largest gift from a foundation with ties to a TU alumnus. Roberta Kahlert ’69 and her husband, Greg, both serve on The Kahlert Foundation board. $1.3 million is designated for UTeach, $1 million for building construction, and $700,000 for English Language Learner initiatives.
  • Towson University received another notable gift in January from alumnus Gerhard VonHauenschild, Ph.D., ’74. His $1 million bequest will provide support to biology majors who need financial assistance in order to complete their degrees at the university. VonHauenschild came to Baltimore from Germany in 1970 and attended TU as a biology major while also working as a hospital orderly.
  • Diageo North America donated $250,000 to establish a permanent endowed scholarship fund at Bowie State University in February. The gift is part of a larger initiative that supports 25 HBCUs that aims to build opportunities and develop future leaders to shape a more equitable society.
  • In mid-February, University of Maryland, College Park received a $9 million gift to its School of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies from Michael and Eugenia Brin and the Brin Family Foundation. The gift will establish the Maya Brin Institute for New Performance which will add courses, expand research and add new teaching positions, and fund scholarships and classroom renovations and technology.
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