Little Rock, Ark. (December 16, 2021) – Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, Sr., President of Philander Smith College (P.S.C.), is pleased to announce that an anonymous donor has given the institution a 2.5 Million Dollar gift for student scholarships - the single largest donation by an individual in the College's 144-year history. This gift is the second gift from the anonymous donor. In August of 2021, the donor made a $250,000 gift to the College in direct support of scholarships.
"My heart overflows with gratitude and amazement for the level of transformational generosity by our anonymous donor. This monumental donation will provide tremendous opportunities for our scholars who hail from every walk of life. This gesture not only affects the lives of our students but communities across the nation," said Dr. Smothers.
The first gift of $250,000 supported our Endeavour Scholarship awarding 100 Juniors and Seniors $2,500 respectively for the 2021-2022 Academic School Year. Funds from the second gift will expand the Endeavour Scholarship into a new initiative entitled the Generational Access and Affordability Program (G.A.A.P.).
G.A.A.P. will directly address the reality that many P.S.C. students come from underserved communities where "access" to the best opportunities is not always afforded. It also gives the College's administration the flexibility to address students' individual needs through a range of less-restrictive scholarship options that will ultimately reduce our scholars' overall dependency on student loans.
The first awards for the G.A.A.P. will be distributed through scholarships starting in Spring 2022 and will permit P.S.C. to award over 250 scholarships per year over the next three academic years. Top priorities for awarding these scholarships include first targeting students in career-oriented disciplines from various socio-economic backgrounds who demonstrate a heightened commitment to the Social Justice mission of P.S.C.
"It is our season at Philander Smith College. After two years of trudging through a pandemic, social unrest, and political change, we are beyond excited to be able to provide just what our scholars need to push through to the finish line. We are committed to our mission to graduate academically accomplished students grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to change the world for the better." said Dr. Smothers.