Montclair State Receives Largest Anonymous Gift in its History

Montclair State University has been the recipient of the largest anonymous gift in its history. The University was presented with a surprise $5 million gift by a representative of the donor late last week. Most of the funds are designated for scholarships for women and minorities.  The University has absolutely no information about the identity of the donor, but the representative of the donor is from a bona fide and substantial organization.

President Susan A. Cole stated that, “To say that we are immensely grateful for this kindness would entirely understate the matter.  Scholarship funds are absolutely critical to the mission of the University, and we never have enough scholarships to meet the needs of deserving students.”

Through the donor representative, President Cole sent the following message to the anonymous donor:

“Throughout its hundred year history, Montclair State has been known as an opportunity institution. Talented and determined young people have come here, not with a sense of entitlement, but rather for the chance to prove themselves, to realize their potential, and to prepare themselves to make important contributions to society. Close to half of our students are the first in their families to attend college, about 35% are minority students, and about a third of our students come from families with incomes below $50,000. Many have had to overcome significant obstacles to succeed. But succeed they do, and throughout the past 100 years, Montclair State students have made their mark in science, education, government, business, and the arts.

“Funds for scholarships are extremely important, especially in these difficult economic times, to ensure that talented students are not barred from the opportunities of an education by financial obstacles, and I can promise the generous donor who has bestowed this gift that we will put this money to very good use.  Education is the great enabler of American democracy, and each dollar of this gift is a brick on the pathway to the possibility of a vibrant, prosperous and educated citizenry.”

View a WWOR Channel 9 News report on the gift.

Read an article about the gift and about similar anonymous donations to other universities in The New York Times.