Goldman Sachs Gives made a $2 million gift to Carnegie Mellon University that will assist students whose families have been disproportionately affected by America's economic recession.
The contribution was made at the recommendation of Paul M. Russo (S'86), Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. It will fund both endowed and expendable scholarships for students.
Russo and his wife, Allison (TPR'88), are both graduates of CMU.
"Carnegie Mellon students are high academic achievers from diverse communities across America," said Mr. Russo, who is grateful for his CMU education and the opportunities it afforded him.
He added, "While many of their families have suffered during this economic downturn, we are optimistic that this gift will have an immediate impact by providing assistance for a number of students to stay in school and graduate."
"This scholarship shows me that CMU is always looking to reward their students for their hard work. It has strengthened my motivation to reach for higher goals and surprise myself with what I can achieve," Biswas said.
Biswas also says the Russo's have inspired her to give back to CMU.
"I hope to one day be a leader in an organization and be in the same roles as Mr. and Mrs. Russo to give back to the community that has supported me in my education," she said.
Sylvianne Shurman, a sophomore studying costume and lighting design in the School of Drama, noted that funding for education is a great issue for many students today.
"This scholarship allows my peers and me to continue our studies without the burden of financial strain weighing down on us," she said.
"With my education, I hope to challenge the creative mind, to inspire and encourage those who are scared to follow their dreams. I hope to allow the fast-paced modern world to take a step back and revisit the ideals of wonder and amazement."
The scholarship came at a crucial time for Rachel Inman, a senior industrial design student who will return to CMU as a fifth year scholar.
Her father was laid off during her sophomore year, which put a large financial strain on the family.
"Receiving this scholarship will help alleviate part of this financial burden and will in turn allow me to further focus on finishing my senior year at Carnegie Mellon," she said.
Established in 2007, Goldman Sachs Gives is a donor-advised fund through which participating managing directors of the firm recommend grants to qualified charitable organizations.
Goldman Sachs Gives is designed to harness the collective philanthropic efforts of Goldman Sachs and its people, providing an added means to increase their support of charitable organizations around the world.
Russo told students, "You don't owe Goldman Sachs anything; nothing to my wife and me. You owe it to yourself and your families to do the best that you can."
He added, "And should you ever have the opportunity — think about how this felt and consider giving back to Carnegie Mellon."
The $2 million gift is administered by CMU's financial aid office for scholarships based on financial need and academic performance beginning this fall.
To be considered for eligibility, students may apply for aid through the standard process.
Related Links: Inspire Innovation: Student Support