Westminster College received the largest gift in its 160-year history as a result of a $7 million bequest from Helen Louise Lemmon.
The gift will be used to endow The Lemmon Family Scholarship for students seeking careers in the sciences.
The gift is part of Ever Higher: The Campaign for Westminster College and helped Westminster eclipse $37.4 million towards its $50 million goal.
Ever Higher entered its public phase in September and is already the most successful fundraising campaign in Westminster history. Visit www.westminster.edu/everhigher for campaign details.
“This is a transformational gift that will significantly elevate Westminster’s ability to attract top student scholars,” Westminster College President Richard H. Dorman said. “A national goal is to increase America’s competitiveness in the sciences globally, and this new scholarship program will enhance Westminster’s role in achieving that goal.”
Westminster was recognized by Forbes.com as the “best college in the nation for women in the S.T.E.M. [science, technology, engineering and math] fields,” and Westminster graduates are accepted into medical school at double the national average.
The sciences, especially biology-related fields, are Westminster’s fastest growing majors. All Westminster programs emphasize experiential learning and preparing students to succeed in their chosen field of interest.
Westminster students work with faculty mentors throughout their four years on campus to conduct research and present their findings at national conferences. Senior capstone research projects provide every student the opportunity to apply and hone information literacy and research skills, scientific writing skills and problem-solving skills in collaboration with a faculty adviser.
“We are grateful that Mrs. Lemmon valued the education she received from Westminster and chose to share that special gift with future generations of students,” Vice President of Institutional Advancement Gloria Cagigas said.
The Lemmon Family Scholarship is restricted for use in the sciences, and criteria will be defined in 2013.
The previous largest gift to Westminster was $3 million from Andrew McKelvey to help construct the Andrew J. McKelvey Campus center in 2003.