Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of an Elmhurst College alumna, more Elmhurst College students than ever before will now have the opportunity to study abroad.
The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has pledged $750,000 to support Honors Program students with demonstrated financial need who want to study abroad. The gift represents the largest ever given to Elmhurst College for such scholarships.
“This amazingly generous scholarship fund will provide the opportunity of a lifetime for many students who otherwise would never be able to access the transformative experience of study abroad,” said Mary Kay Mulvaney, director of the Honors Program and an English professor at Elmhurst College. “I cannot think of a more important gift to provide to today’s students, who must acquire a global consciousness if they are to compete in and better serve our needy world.”
The gift is structured to support today’s students studying abroad while simultaneously building an endowment for future students. Among Elmhurst College students who graduated last year, approximately 20 percent had studied abroad during their time at the College. More than half of Honors Program graduates studied abroad. For many, the experience marked the first time they had ever traveled overseas. Students receiving scholarships could use the funds either for one of the College’s January Term courses or for a full semester abroad.
“This wonderful gift goes to the heart of what we want Elmhurst College to be for our students—a source of opportunity, new experiences and transformation,” said President Troy D. VanAken. “We are deeply grateful for this donor’s generosity.”
The donor, a longtime supporter of Elmhurst College, wanted to do more to expand opportunities for students to study abroad, and significantly increased her investment to the international travel program. “Fully realizing the immeasurable effect of studying abroad, I wanted to make a lasting impact and encourage students to explore cultural differences, develop a global perspective and participate in this wonderful, life-altering experience,” the donor said.