University of Chicago Receives $20 Million for Egyptian Students

The University of Chicago has announced a $20 million gift from trustee and alumnus Nassef Sawiris to establish and endow the Onsi Sawiris Scholars Program, which will provide support to academically gifted students from Egypt.

Named in honor of Sawaris's father, the program will offer support — including tuition, travel, living expenses, and enrichment initiatives — for full-time college students from Egypt and will continue funding for the Sawiris Scholars Exchange Program, which brings students to the university for a year, as well as students working toward a master's degree or Ph.D. in economics.

Sawiris, who earned a bachelor's degree in economics from the university in 1982, is the CEO of OCI N.V., an international engineering and construction contractor and chemical producer. His previous support of his alma mater includes gifts to the Oriental Institute and for a visiting faculty fellowship program between Egypt and the University of Chicago Center in Paris.

"The Onsi Sawiris Scholars Program will provide Egypt's brightest students with the opportunity to receive a world-class education at the University of Chicago, where they will be armed with essential skills to lead Egypt's economic development in the future," said Sawiris. "I benefitted greatly from my time at the University of Chicago and believe in the value that a well-rounded education brings to the development of our communities."

"Sawiris Gift to UChicago Expands Support for International Students." University of Chicago Press Release 03/16/2015.