Gabelli Gift Will Benefit Presidential Scholars Program

Gabelli Gift Will Benefit Presidential Scholars Program

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

A $10 million gift from the Gabelli Foundation, founded by financier Mario Gabelli, in support of the Presidential Scholars Program will produce dividends for one of the Boston College's premier academic endeavors, say University administrators.

Mario Gabelli (Photo by William Moree)
The Presidential Scholars Program each year enrolls 15 incoming freshmen, chosen on the basis of academic excellence, demonstrated leadership ability and significant community service involvement. The scholars enter the honors program in their selected field of study and take part in three summer programs that include social service, travel and study in Europe and professional internships in highly competitive settings.

"It is impossible to overstate the impact and importance of a gift like this one from Mario Gabelli and his family," said University President William P. Leahy, SJ.

"Aside from the obvious and primary purpose of providing substantial, permanent support for one of the University's flagship academic programs," Fr. Leahy said, "the gift also generates tremendous momentum for the final phase of the 'Ever to Excel' Campaign and carries the additional message of a high profile and highly regarded national business leader's endorsement of and commitment to this historic endeavor."

The director of the Presidential Scholars Program, Prof. Dennis Sardella (Chemistry), said Gabelli's contribution will help fully fund tuition costs for incoming Presidential Scholars, in addition to providing a recruiting advantage to attract the top-level secondary school students who are considering attending Boston College.

"We made the decision this year to go from a half-tuition merit scholarship to a full-tuition merit scholarship for Presidential Scholars, beginning with the Class of 2006," Sardella said. "That's a significant economic commitment. The availability of an extra $10 million is really going to make a huge difference in the endowment and in our ability to support that commitment.

"The second thing has to do with recruiting," continued Sardella. "Mario Gabelli's name obviously carries a great deal of weight in the financial community. For students who are interested, for example, in going into the Carroll School of Management or in studying economics, it may very well be that the ability to name some of these people 'Mario Gabelli Distinguished Presidential Scholars' will go a long way toward helping us recruit them."

Gabelli, who is Chairman of Gabelli Asset Management Corp., has actively supported the Presidential Scholars Program through his involvement as a founder of University's Wall Street Council, which sponsors an annual dinner that has raised more than $10 million to endow Presidential scholarships.

Gabelli is also the father of four Boston College graduates: Marc '90, Matthew '94, Michael '00 and Elisa Gabelli Wilson '95, who is president of the Gabelli Foundation.

"From the earliest days of the concept of Presidential Scholars at Boston College, we have seen the positive and wide-spread impact that this program has had in attaining Boston College's Jesuit goals and ideals," Gabelli said.

"This gift from our foundation underscores our continuing belief that the program will continue to attract some of the most gifted students in the nation to Boston College and create a group of future world leaders."


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