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Engelstad Family Foundation Donates $12.625 Million to Create Largest Active Scholarship Program in UNLV and NSHE History

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Endowment to Perpetually Fund 100 Annual Student Scholarships
Nov 3, 2009  |  By UNLV Media Relations
Media Contact: Contact: UNLV Office of Public Affairs (702) 895-3102

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) today announced a $12.625 million donation from the Engelstad Family Foundation to support the largest active scholarship program in the university's 52-year history and the largest active scholarship endowment in the history of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE).

The Engelstad Scholars' Program will award full-tuition scholarships - renewable for up to four years - to UNLV students annually based on academic excellence, leadership, community service involvement and financial need. As part of the program requirements, selected students will also spend 100 hours each academic year engaged in community service with nonprofit organizations including the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, the Boys and Girls Clubs and Three Square.

"The Engelstad Scholars' Program highlights our investment in giving back to our community and reflects the generous contributions of those who came before," said Kris Engelstad McGarry, trustee of the Engelstad Family Foundation. "My father was a scholarship recipient-someone else's generosity enabled him to attend college and gave him a headstart in life. Now, in his honor, our family has the opportunity to continue that tradition by 'paying it forward.' That is why we included the community service requirement. Students will learn the importance of giving back and having an impact in the community."

"This gift will have a profound impact on UNLV and our students. In these tough fiscal times when more students than ever are coming to our university, this generous gift will support students with strong academic credentials who need financial help to pursue their career dreams," said UNLV President Neal Smatresk. "The service requirement to support local select nonprofit organizations will also further enrich the academic experience of the Engelstad Scholars."

When fully mature, the endowment will fund more than 100 scholarships of up to $5,000 per year in perpetuity. Approximately $125,000 has been set aside as start-up funding to award 25 Engelstad scholarships starting in January 2010.

In the coming weeks, detailed information on the Engelstad Scholars' Program, including application requirements and how to apply, will be available through the UNLV Financial Aid and Scholarships website.