Funding the Best and Brightest

CMU Students at Playfair

Incoming students show CMU pride at Orientation

CMU President Subra Suresh recently announced a new key priority project for the university, the launch of endowed Presidential Fellowships for graduate students and Presidential Scholarships for undergraduate students.

In an email sent to the CMU campuses, President Suresh noted that during the course of the past several months, the university has begun this important project by establishing a permanent endowment pool of about $30 million, which will fund many Presidential Fellowships/Scholarships per year in perpetuity. Commitments for these endowment funds have been secured from individual donors, alumni, CMU trustees, CMU faculty and philanthropic organizations.

"This project is a direct outcome of the numerous suggestions and comments I received from the CMU community during my listening tour," Dr. Suresh said. "It seeks to address one of the most pressing challenges for CMU as we compete globally to attract the best and the brightest students, as well as attract and retain the faculty who mentor them."

The initial gifts of $30 million will form the nucleus of a newly endowed fund for these gifts that the university will build upon in the years ahead. These funds will exist in perpetuity to help provide support for graduate and undergraduate students including top applicants and those with significant financial need.

"Building a significantly greater permanent endowment to provide sustained financial resources for these fellowships and scholarships will remain a priority project for the university for years to come." Dr. Suresh continued. "I am enormously grateful to all those who have made possible this new and substantial endowment for student support through their generous contributions."

The Presidential Fellowships and Presidential Scholarships will be among the most competitive and prestigious awarded by the university. They will have a number of distinguishing features:

  • Presidential Fellows will be selected annually through a process overseen by the provost that invites nominations from the department heads and deans of the schools and colleges at the university. The Office of Undergraduate Admission will orchestrate support for the Presidential Scholars with input from the provost and the deans.
  • The designation Presidential Fellow or Presidential Scholar will recognize the high accomplishments of the students selected for these awards. It will symbolize a record of distinction and the potential for further excellence.
  • These fellowships and scholarships will be named after donors and benefactors to recognize their generosity and commitment to Carnegie Mellon.
  • Students receiving the Presidential Fellowships and Scholarships, their faculty and staff mentors, and the donors who make these awards possible will be recognized each year in a special event hosted by the university president. This event will highlight the academic work being performed by the Fellows and Scholars.
  • Presidential Fellowships will help increase the academic options for graduate students by allowing their work to transcend traditional academic barriers by affording them the opportunity to explore a range of research areas before selecting their research focus.

A full list of the inaugural cohort of donors of Presidential Fellowships and Scholarships along with further information about the fund will be announced in the months ahead.

Related Links: Special event to support scholarships and fellowships | Carnegie Mellon Office of Admission

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