University Receives more than $12 Million to Fund Scholarships

Major gifts from alumni, friends and university leadership will enable a GW education for exceptional students regardless of means.

March 23, 2021

As GW gets ready to celebrate its first-ever Giving Day on April 7, the university announced $12.48 million in major gifts that will fund scholarships for current and future students across the university.

“We are so thankful for these donors, whose generosity will impact students’ lives for generations to come,” said President Thomas LeBlanc.

The largest gift is a more than $1.9 million bequest from the Estate of Donald W. Clark and Annette M. Clark, A.A. ’60, M.A. ’66.

Donald Clark was a renowned anthropologist whose research focused on the western subarctic and upper Koyukuk River in Alaska. Through their work, Dr. Clark and his wife, Annette M. Clark, helped modernize ethnoarchaeological approaches and made significant contributions to the national museums of Canada. Ms. Clark completed field work and wrote her thesis on the native Koyukuk people and Eskimos in Alaska while a graduate student at GW.

The Clarks were among 51 donors who gave a total of $12.48 million in major gifts to GW for student aid since the beginning of this fiscal year on July 1, 2020. These donations are in addition to the $22.5 million in scholarship bequests announced last fall.

“My wife, Anne, and I were among the first in our families to go to college, and we benefited directly from the generosity of others, including through scholarships," Dr. LeBlanc said. “We believe a GW education changes lives, and student aid is one of the most important tools for making higher education more accessible to all students, regardless of financial circumstances.”

GW Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Donna Arbide stressed that gifts of all sizes make a difference and encourages the entire GW community to come together to drive philanthropic support for student aid on the first university-wide Giving Day on April 7.

“While these are big gifts to build on, the annual need of our undergraduate students alone is $224 million,” said Ms. Arbide. “We would need to increase the GW endowment by $5 billion to make a GW education available to all outstanding students whose talent and ambition might exceed their financial means,” she said.

Other major gifts supporting student scholarships include:

  • Kenneth Jaconetty, J.D. ’88, made a planned gift of $2 million to establish an endowed scholarship program to support underrepresented students interested in intellectual property law. Mr. Jaconetty recently gave an additional $125,000 to establish his scholarship fund next year.
  • Former GW trustee W. Scott Amey, M.S. ’75, and Deborah L. Amey made an additional commitment to the Amey Scholarship Fund, which supports students whose parents or grandparents lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
  • David S. Cohen, B.B.A. ’91, increased his planned gift to support scholarships for School of Business undergraduate students. 
  • Richard L. Donaldson, LLM ’73, and Marilee Donaldson established the Richard and Marilee Donaldson Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports GW Law students pursuing an LLM in intellectual property.
  • Isabella Zhang, BAccy ’14, a member of the GWSB Board of Advisors, made a gift that supports two need-based scholarships for female undergraduate GWSB students. 
  • Kevin T. Crilly, B.A. ’81, created a charitable remainder trust to provide a need-based scholarship for an undergraduate student in CCAS, with a preference for students involved in LGBTQ-related organizations.
  • A gift from Dr. Russell C. Libby, B.A. ’74, M.D. ’79, and Dr. Mary E. Schmidt will provide need-based scholarships for M.D. students pursuing careers in primary care.
  • The Helene Fuld Health Trust, dedicated to supporting nursing education since 1935, provided a gift for student scholarships in GW’s accelerated bachelor’s program in nursing.
  • An anonymous gift supporting the Delmas Harris Allied Health Sciences Fund will help provide a need-based scholarship for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health sciences at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
  • James Silverman, B.B.A. ’92, participated in the Adopt-a-Doc Program, which provides a need-based scholarship for medical students with preference for those from populations that are underrepresented in the profession.

“Scholarships open doors,” Ms. Arbide said. “Philanthropy has a direct and tangible impact in the lives of students with effects that ripple outward to their families and communities. What better way is there to celebrate our bicentennial birthday than to invest in our future graduates.”


Student Life, University News


GW Law Alumnus Makes $2 Million Bequest to Start Scholarship Fund

February 18, 2021

A gift from Kenneth E. Jaconetty will create an endowed need-based scholarship to support law students from diverse backgrounds to pursue studies in intellectual property law. <