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Initiative designed to keep Brandeis education affordable

The Catalyst Fund is designed to keep a Brandeis education accessible and affordable.

By David E. Nathan

Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence announced the launch of the Catalyst Fund, a $100 million scholarship fundraising initiative that will ensure that a Brandeis education will be accessible and affordable to future generations of students.

Successful completion of the campaign will allow Brandeis to continue to provide talented students a world-class education at a reasonable cost; maintain its historic commitment to admit the most qualified candidates without regard to financial need; and host a heterogeneous student population.

“The Catalyst Fund is a bold statement of our belief that a Brandeis education – open to all – truly changes the arc of young people’s lives,” Lawrence said. “As our alumni demonstrate, these individuals go on to change the world for the better in many ways both large and small. Accessibility and affordability of higher education has been a core commitment of Brandeis since its founding.”

Thanks to lead gifts from alumni trustees of $7.5 million and $5 million, and two $5 million gifts from friends of the University, the Catalyst Fund is already more than one-third of the way toward meeting its target before the campaign concludes in December 2016.

“The Catalyst Fund has already built real momentum,” said Nancy Winship, P ’10, P ’13, senior vice president of institutional advancement. “Our trustees are taking the lead and stepping forward to support this important fundraising initiative.”

During the 2013-14 academic year, Brandeis awarded $59 million in grants and scholarships to undergraduate students. Nearly two out of every three students at the University receives financial aid.

“The Catalyst Fund will help Brandeis continue to attract the most promising students – regardless of their financial backgrounds – and ensure that the diversity of the student body is reflective of the wider world around us,” said Trustee Jonathan Davis ’75, co-chair of the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Approved by the Brandeis Board of Trustees at its meeting in late March, the fund will raise money for both scholarships (undergraduate students) and fellowships (graduate students).The goal is to secure $75 million for the endowment and $25 million for current use.

“In an era when more colleges and universities are considering students’ ability to pay when making admissions decisions, I am proud that Brandeis – with the help of the Catalyst Fund – will continue to educate the best students without consideration of their ability to pay,” said Trustee Barbara Mandel, P ’73, co-chair of the Development Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Alumni, parents, trustees, friends and members of the Brandeis National Committee will all be asked to support the Catalyst Fund.

Categories: Giving
Date: June 27, 2014