Three Arizona universities — and their most capable business students — will share a $10 million gift from a Phoenix couple with a history of donating money to higher education.
Robert and Sharon McCord donated $6 million to the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, $3 million for students at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona and $1 million for students of the College of Business Administration at Northern Arizona University.
ASU announced the donations Wednesday, saying its $6 million gift amounts to its largest ever individual donation for undergraduate scholarships.
The donations will fund up to 24 scholarships of $10,000 each year at ASU and up to four scholarships of $10,000 at NAU per year, said Laura Burgis, assistant dean of external affairs at the W.P. Carey School of Business.
Linda Herrick, a spokeswoman for the Eller College of Management, said it was premature for ASU to make the announcement about the donations. She said the University of Arizona has not decided how its portion of the money will be used.
At ASU, the McCord Scholars program will begin with the 2006-07 academic year. Scholarships will be available for business school juniors and seniors to help pay for tuition, books and living expenses.
The students must be a member of the Business Honors Program and earn a minimum 3.6 cumulative grade point average. Financial need also will be taken into consideration, Burgis said.
Bob Mittelstaedt, dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business, said the gift is exceptional because it focuses on business students from around the state and enhances ASU’s ability to attract highly-qualified students.
“This gives us a chance to impact people’s lives who might otherwise have a tough time getting through school because they would have to work in order to do it,” Mittelstaedt said.
In the May 2005 class of graduating W.P. Carey School seniors, 86 percent of the students worked while attending school, according to ASU.
Robert McCord, former chief executive at Coldwell Banker Success Realty, could not be reached for comment, but said in a statement: “This program will help us compete and will assist in attracting the best students to Arizona, thus providing great local benefit.”
The McCords previously donated $2 million to the W.P. Carey School of Business to fund a new MBA program in real estate finance and marketing, which will start this fall. The school has 2,500 undergraduate students, 1,400 graduate students and more than 160 faculty members.