The Archdiocese of New York has announced a $40 million gift from Christine and Stephen A. Schwarzman to launch a scholarship fund for underprivileged children attending New York Catholic schools.
The single largest donation in the archdiocese's 207-year history will establish a fund through the Inner-City Scholarship Fund that will provide tuition assistance to children from underprivileged families attending Catholic schools in the archdiocese. The endowment, which is expected to provide approximately twenty-nine hundred scholarships annually, will award its first in the fall of 2016. The scholarships will be available to current and new students who qualify. In addition to a $40 million commitment from the archdiocese, the Inner-City Scholarship Fund seeks to raise $45 million over five years to match the Schwarzmans' contribution.
Christine Schwarzman, a trustee of Inner-City Scholarship Fund, is a former attorney who specialized in intellectual property, patent, trademark, and copyright law. Stephen Schwarzman founded the global asset management firm Blackstone, where he serves as chairman and CEO. Their giving includes a $150 million gift to Yale University earlier this year to establish a campus center; a $100 million commitment to the New York Public Library in 2008; and the creation in 2013 of the Schwarzman Scholars, an international program modeled on the Rhodes Scholarship, to educate future leaders about China. The Schwarzmans began supporting Inner-City Scholarship Fund in 2001 after meeting the late Archbishop of New York, Edward Cardinal Egan; they have contributed more than $8 million in tuition support for three hundred and fifty students annually.
"The endowment campaign we are launching is an essential ingredient to the long-term stability and success of Inner-City Scholarship Fund and Catholic education," said Peter Grauer, president of Inner-City Scholarship Fund "We could not have asked for a better way to begin, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Schwarzmans."