$50m Scholarship Gift - Transformative Philanthropy
6 February 2013 at 9:27 am
Billionaire Graham Tuckwell and his wife Louise have given $50 million to the Australian National University to fund a new Tuckwell Scholarship program – described as the largest philanthropic gift to benefit students in Australian history.
The ANU says that, beginning in 2014, the most transformational undergraduate scholarship program
in Australia will award 25 Tuckwell Scholarships each year at a value of $20,000 per annum for up to five years for expenses such as accommodation and living costs.
Tuckwell is a Canberra-born global commodities trader who graduated from the ANU in 1978 with a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws in 1981.
“Both my wife and I benefited enormously from our formal education. Our university experience was life-transforming. We would like to give that opportunity to other young Australians,” Graham Tuckwell said.
“The gift was given with the intention of enabling highly talented and motivated students to fulfil their potential and reinvest their knowledge, skills and experience in ways that positively benefit others.
“The Tuckwell Scholarship program is aimed at providing Scholars with a collegial and well-rounded campus experience,” Tuckwell said.
“While at university, clearly there's a certain amount of high-quality academic work that’s got to be done, but equally you've got to enjoy yourself and develop as a citizen. That's what we would like to see these Tuckwell Scholars do.”
The Tuckwell Scholars will be selected from a cohort of school-leavers whose ATAR is 95 or above and who display a rounded set of attributes.
“This is a national scholarship program where we are aiming to bring students from diverse backgrounds from all around Australia together to a single university. That university is Australia's best university – ANU. I can tell you it’s the best because I benefited enormously from the springboard of opportunities that it gave me in life,” Tuckwell said.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO says the University is committed to delivering on the Tuckwells’ vision.
“When Graham and Louise first suggested the possibility of a donation like this to support such a tremendous scholarship program, I was enormously impressed by their vision,” Professor Young said.
“The Tuckwell Scholarships will allow us to attract the best and brightest students from right across the country, who want to give back in a whole range of ways.
“Through our on-campus residential experience and the quality of education we provide, ANU will be able to deliver the sort of full, rounded education that Graham and Louise envisage.”
Professor Young said the donation may also prove to be transformative for philanthropy in Australia.
“One of the important results of the Tuckwell donation will be to set an example of what people who have succeeded in business or other activities can do. I’m very hopeful that this will act as a catalyst for other philanthropists to make similar donations to Australian universities," he said.
“It will begin a conversation about the magnitude of these types of contributions and the transformative nature they can have not only on universities but society more broadly.”
It is reported that Graham Tuckwell set up a Private Ancillary Fund in 2012 as a channel for $80 million in philanthropic funds.
Applications for the Tuckwell Scholarship open to students from around Australia on Monday March 4, 2013 and close Tuesday April 2, 2013.
The website http://tuckwell.anu.edu.au will go live at 11am on February 5.