Augustana Alum Gives $40 Million for Endowment
Early this year, Augustana College's Kent Barnds witnessed what he calls "the magic of the universe." At the QC Coffee and Pancake House, Barnds sat down with Murry Gerber, who later made a $40 million commitment to Augustana to provide financial aid and scholarships to first generation students and low income students.
President Steve Bahls says Gerber's donation will go directly into endowed scholarship and financial aid funds, beginning with the class entering Augustana in the fall of 2023. The $40 million donation is more than four times the size of its previous largest gift.
"This is wonderful news for Augustana College but better news for the student of Augustana College. Friends, this is a transformational gift because it keeps Augustana affordable for generations of students."
Murry Gerber, a 1975 Augie graduate, was a first-generation college student who understands the importance of a college education, according to Bahls.
"What's remarkable is that Murry Gerber rode his bicycle from the South Side of Chicago to Augustana College so he didn't have to pay for a train ticket at the time."
Gerber's donation is a challenge to other donors: donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $40 million, potentially $80 million for Augustana's endowment.
Currently, Augustana's endowment fund is roughly $100 million. The $80 million will increase the fund by around 75%.
The scholarship will be awarded to students with financial need and students can apply for this scholarship through the regular financial aid process.