US couple donates 110 mn dollars to university

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A philanthropist couple in US has donated $110 million to the University Of Southern California (USC) to fund full tuition and four-year undergraduate scholarships.

The donation, which came from USC engineering school alumnus John Mork and his wife Julie, is the largest gift in the university’s history for undergraduate scholarships, the USC said.

The gift will create the USC Mork Family Scholars Programme, which will support current and future generations of students in the science, engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities, and other fields, Xinhua quoted USC President C.L. Max Nikias as saying.

“Through their exceptional generosity, the Mork family have demonstrated their tremendous passion for higher education, ensuring that the life-changing gift of education will be available to many young men and women now and into the future,” Nikias said.

“Their gift forever changes the educational landscape at USC, and will help us attract the most talented and deserving students.”

The scholarships will cover recipients’ tuition, which will be $42,162 next year, with an extra $5,000 in annual spending money.

Students will be chosen based on academic promise, not financial need, and will be required to maintain a grade-point average of at least 3.5 while at USC.

Mork Family Scholars will also include students from the USC Family of Schools, 15 neighbouring schools that surround the University Park and Health Sciences campuses, where USC students and employees provide outreach and public service.

Mork told reporters earlier that he hoped the donation would help as many young people as possible to obtain a university education as the ticket to a middle-class life.

“Public and private education has gotten more expensive over time. I think this will allow the very best kids to get a degree at USC, whether they can afford it or not,” he said.

Mork, 63, is chief executive of the Denver-based Energy Corp. of America, which controls vast leased acreage and thousands of wells in Appalachia, the Texas coast, the Rockies and New Zealand. He graduated from USC in 1970 with a degree in petroleum engineering.

Mork was elected to the USC Board of Trustees in 2006.

Julie Mork is a director of Energy Corporation of America, and managing director of the ECA Foundation, a private corporate foundation with a focus on youth and education. (IANS)