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Who Is Mystery Philanthropist Who Just Gifted $9 Million to UC Merced?



An anonymous philanthropist has gifted UC Merced with $9 million to fund a scholarship endowment for first-year students. (Twitter/UC Merced)
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An anonymous donor has gifted $9 million to UC Merced that will provide scholarships for a minimum of 36 first-year students annually.

Among the priorities for the new Gateway Scholarship Endowment Fund is expanding higher-education access and opportunities for students from the region, university officials said in a social media post on Thursday. Students graduating from high schools in Merced will receive preference.

According to the university, the anonymous donor is a longtime supporter of the Gateway Scholars Program.

“The Gateway Scholars Program has enabled countless students from Merced to pursue their personal, professional, and academic goals, and now, with the establishment of the Gateway Scholarship Endowed Fund, future scholars wishing to remain in the San Joaquin Valley for their college education will have access to resources that help them thrive,” said Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz. “This transformational gift truly empowers our university to foster social mobility throughout our region.”

$87 Million Raised Toward $200 Million Goal

This latest donation was made in conjunction with UC-Merced’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, which is dubbed “Boldly Forward.” The effort’s goal is $200 million, and the university has already accumulated nearly $87 million from 6,259 donors since last fall’s launch.

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