Last Tuesday, Amherst College announced that it had received two anonymous donations totaling $125 million. The two pledges were of $100 million and $25 million and are the largest gifts received in the history of Amherst. The $100 million donation is believed to be the largest unrestricted cash gift ever given to any liberal arts college in the country.
The anonymous donors agreed to release statements, which were published on Amherst’s Web site. The donors pledged their support to high quality education, and the $100 million donor expressed hope that other alumni would also be inspired to support the college.
Amherst President Anthony Marx said that the money would be allocated to places it is needed most, mentioning financial aid, faculty hiring and resources, alumni relations, renovating and building new facilities and enhancing student opportunities.
The donations were announced at an opportune time for Amherst, following concerns that the college’s $425 million “Lives of Consequence” fundraising campaign, begun last October during unstable economic times, would be unsuccessful. The campaign, which has so far raised $350 million, will continue over the next four years.