The Lenfest Scholars Foundation in Philadelphia has announced a $20 million gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
The gift will nearly double the foundation's endowment, which supports college scholarships of up to $12,000 a year for four years to twenty-five students annually from school districts in the Pennsylvania counties of Adams, Chester, Franklin, Lancaster, Montgomery, and York. Selected during their junior year based on their desire to excel at a challenging college or university, academic achievement, commitment to service, leadership qualities, and financial need, Lenfest Scholars also receive counseling related to their higher education options, the application process, and financial aid, as well as mentoring and other support both during and after college.
The program was launched in 2001 by H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest and his wife, Marguerite, as a program of the Lenfest Foundation. In 2015, it received a gift of $32 million from the couple and was spun off as a separate foundation so that it would be positioned to continue after the Lenfest Foundation completes a planned spend-down of its endowment in 2023.
"We are humbled by this new donation," said Gerry Lenfest, "which reflects the donor's confidence in the Lenfest College Scholarship Program and the accomplishments of the great young men and women we are proud to have helped over the last fifteen years."