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College Announces $1 Million Gift for Diversity Scholarship Program

October 11, 2016

Michelle Adams O'Regan
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7240

At a President's Convocation on September 8, Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo, president of Saint Anselm College, addressed the community on topics ranging from enrollment, student activities, academic affairs, athletics, and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, to the financial health of the college, advancement and endowment updates and campus improvements, including the planned renovation and expansion of the Cushing Student Center.

He also announced a $1 million dollar endowment grant over the course of five years to the college from a private foundation, in support of the Hilltop Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for underrepresented, low-income, first-generation or international students.

Candidates representing diverse intellectual, social, ethnic and economic backgrounds will be evaluated on the basis of financial need, as well as having demonstrated transformational leadership both on and off campus, a love of learning and a commitment to enhancing both their local and broader civic communities.

Since Saint Anselm College's founding in 1889 as an institution primarily serving working class students from Manchester, providing financial aid to exceptional and deserving students has always been a high priority. For the 2015-2016 academic year, 98 percent of students received some sort of financial aid; however, awards do not always meet the financial needs of families of low-income and first generation students.

The gift will have a significant impact on the college's ability to increase diversity and sustain an intentionally inclusive environment as part of its mission as a Catholic, Benedictine liberal arts institution, as the Hilltop Scholarship Program will assist in attracting, retaining, supporting and graduating underrepresented students.

"Diversity is central to our mission as a college. Creating transformative learning experiences that prepare our students to be leaders in a pluralistic world remains our priority," says Professor Ahida Pilarski, chair of the President's Steering Committee for Diversity and Inclusiveness. "Our ability to do so is greater when diverse perspectives and experiences are not only represented, but also embraced, celebrated and valued in the Anselmian community.

This gift is so timely, and I believe it will have a lasting impact because it positions the college to create institutional capacity to recruit and support minority students who otherwise may not be able to join us, and their presence will strengthen and truly enrich us," says Professor Pilarksi.

"We believe that academically qualified students who are committed to working hard should not be denied the opportunity to succeed here," says Dr. DiSalvo. "Lowering the barriers for underrepresented students expands their opportunity to earn an exceptional undergraduate education. At the same time their presence and active engagement in our learning community will enrich the educational experience of all students. We are extremely grateful to the foundation for providing this opportunity, and we hope that it will lead to even greater support for diversity and inclusiveness in our community."  

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