Cousins Foundation Awards $5 Million to University of Georgia

Cousins Foundation Awards $5 Million to University of Georgia

The University of Georgia has announced a $5 million gift from the Cousins Foundation to fund need-based scholarships and endow the university's head swimming and diving coach position.

The  Cousins Scholars Program will provide support annually for six service-minded students who demonstrate significant financial need, with a first cohort to be announced in the fall of 2019. The program will have four components — an annual scholarship of $7,000, renewable for up to four years; participation in UGA's Freshman College Summer Experience, a bridge program that helps first-year students transition to campus; grants of up to $2,000 for high-impact experiential learning opportunities; and targeted support and mentorship from a program coordinator.

The foundation's gift will be matched by an additional $500,000 from the UGA Foundation through the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program, which was launched in January to increase the number of need-based scholarships at the university.

In addition, a portion of the gift will be used to endow the position of the Tom Cousins Head Swimming and Diving Coach, in honor of Tom Cousins, a letterman in swimming in 1950 and 1951 and co-founder of the Cousins Foundation with his wife, Ann. In 2016, the Cousins family endowed the Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach position, in honor of Tom's father.

"I want to thank the Cousins Foundation for partnering with the University of Georgia to advance one of our top priorities, increasing scholarship support for our students with financial needs," said UGA president Jere W. Morehead. "This significant gift will transform the lives of so many UGA students — and their families — for generations into the future, and I am deeply grateful for the foundation's tremendous generosity."