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BARD COLLEGE RECEIVES $120 MILLION GIFT FROM ITS BOARD OF TRUSTEES Leadership Gift of $50 Million Made by Life Trustee Leon Levy

Mark Primoff

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - Bard College announced today that it has received the largest gift in its 141-year history: $120 million given to the College by its board of trustees for undergraduate endowment and quasi-endowment funds. Leon Levy, a life trustee of the college, made a leadership gift of $50 million. All of Bard's trustees contributed to the $120 million gift, which will nearly double the College's existing endowment.

"In the wake of September 11, Bard College's board of trustees recognized that all institutions that rely on philanthropy faced a potential crisis-a crisis compounded by an economic recession. Instead of assuming that higher education could fall on the list of priorities, Bard's trustees chose to confront this crisis by deepening their commitment to Bard and signaling their support for the College's initiatives in education and the arts," said Leon Botstein, president of the college. "In making this historic gift, Leon Levy and Bard's trustees are demonstrating their conviction that now, more than ever, it is essential to preserve and strengthen the independent, private institutions of higher education that are unique to America-institutions that have been on the cutting edge of innovation.

"This gift will fortify our endowment and help to further establish Bard as an important resource for the region, for the national higher education community, and for innovative initiatives in the liberal arts and secondary education," President Botstein said. It will also serve as a starting point for a new public capital campaign, to be formally announced this spring. "I hope that other philanthropic constituencies-individuals, corporations, and foundations-will continue to support institutions of education, culture, and the arts," President Botstein said. Of the $120 million total, $100 million will be allocated for unrestricted undergraduate endowment. The remaining $20 million will be used to endow capital building projects such as new dormitory construction.

Leon Levy, a life trustee of Bard College, is a founding member of Oppenheimer and Company and Odyssey Partners, L.P., and a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Rockefeller University, and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Bard College trustee Richard B. Fisher, chairman emeritus of Morgan Stanley and chairman of the board of Rockefeller University, is the chair of Bard's capital campaign.

"The collective gift of $120 million dollars from the Board of Trustees is but the most recent evidence of the enormous support Bard has received from the committed men and women who make up its Board, said David E. Schwab II, chairman of Bard?s Board of Trustees. "Under the guiding hand of Dick Fisher, and with the generous leadership gift of Leon Levy, the members of our Board of Trustees comprise an outstanding group of leaders and philanthropists. Their contributions to Bard College are without parallel."

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This event was last updated on 01-18-2002