Emory University in Atlanta has announced a bequest of $14.4 million from the estate of alumnus James E. Varner, Jr. to provide financial aid to students in the university's college of arts and sciences.
Varner, an Atlanta banker who graduated from Emory in 1943 with an economics degree, always believed his education was a key driver of his business and financial success. "It is a pleasant obligation to continue to contribute to Emory and make it a little easier for students who come behind me," he said in a 2007 interview for the Emory Alumni Directory. Varner passed away on March 6, 2010.
Emory's financial aid program is one of sixty-three out of 1,700 recently surveyed by U.S. News & World Report that meets 100 percent of student need.
"The Varner bequest to Emory College is exactly the right gift at the right time," said Emory trustee and alumnus Wendell Reilly. "There's no greater challenge facing the college today than keeping Emory accessible and affordable....While Emory remains committed to meeting the need of students and their families, the college has no way of sustaining that effort without the support of alumni and generous angels like James E. Varner, Jr."