Centre College in Danville is unveiling a new scholarship program endowed by the largest single gift ever given to the school.
J. David and Marlene Grissom of Louisville have agreed to fund a four-year, full tuition scholarship that will go to ten first-generation college students each year beginning in the fall of 2015. J. David Grissom is a Centre graduate who served as chairman of the school’s board of trustees for two decades.
The total amount of the gift isn’t being made public, but Centre officials say it’s the largest ever received in the Danville school’s 195 year history.
Centre’s Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Bob Nesmith, says the school is already recruiting the first class of Grissom Scholars.
Kentucky Senate candidates Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes will debate October 13th on KET, but they won’t be debating this September at Centre College. The Danville-based school announced Monday it is calling off attempts to try and host a Senate debate this year.
“My disappointment runs deep for the citizens of Kentucky, who deserve to make an informed decision on election day,” said Centre College President John A. Roush in a written statement. “We had every indication early on that agreement could be reached, but as time wore on, compromise on the part of both campaigns simply didn’t occur.”
Centre extended invitations to both camps in July, but said Monday it couldn’t get the two sides to commit to the proposed Sept. 3 debate. Centre hosted vice presidential debates in 2000 and 2012.
Grimes and McConnell will appear together Tuesday at the Red White & Blue Picnic in Owensboro, but it’s not a traditional debate format.
Following the announcement that Kentucky's two leading U.S. Senate candidates will appear on Kentucky Educational Television, Centre College's president is reaching out to both camps.
Centre College proposed hosting a debate September 3 between incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
In a letter posted Wednesday on the Danville college's website, President John Roush says Centre is awaiting a response. He says time is ticking but he remains optimistic both candidates will accept.
"It's really about the citizens of the Commonwealth," the letter read. "This is no longer for me about my interests or even Centre College's interests. The citizens of this state deserve the right to hear these candidates and I'm hoping they'll figure that out."
Centre College is no longer pursuing a scholarship program that garnered the school national acclaim when it was announced earlier this summer.
Centre College leaders said in late July that they had received a $250 million dollar financial gift, the largest such gift ever for a U.S. liberal arts school.
The Danville school announced Monday morning that Centre leaders and the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust "have determined not to continue discussions regarding a potential new scholarship program."
"The Trust’s intended major gift to fund the program was linked to a significant capital market event, which put considerable time pressure on efforts to structure the gift and the proposed scholarship program," Centre Vice-President Richard Trollinger said in a news release. "In the end, the parties determined that it was not possible to finalize these matters and get the required approvals from both sides in the time available."
A prestigious summer arts residency program for Kentucky high-schoolers is relocating to Centre College in Danville. The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts has been held at Transylvania University for the previous fourteen years, but will move to Centre next summer.
The program hosts over 200 Kentucky high school sophomores and juniors for three weeks in the summer, offering master-classes, lectures, and hands-on workshops in nine disciplines, including creative writing, dance, instrumental music, and visual art.
Nearly 5,000 Kentucky high-schoolers have attended the GSA summer program since 1987, and 23 colleges and universities offer scholarships to program alumni.
WKU Public Radio's interview with Richard Trollinger, Vice President for College Relations at Centre College
When it comes to financial contributions, there are major gifts--and then there's what happened Tuesday at Centre College.
The private undergraduate school in Danville has announced the largest gift ever given to a liberal arts school in the U.S, and the largest donation ever given to a Kentucky college or university.
The A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust is giving Centre $250 million in stock to create the Brockman Scholars Program in Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Forty scholarships will be awarded each year starting in the fall of 2014.
Brockman's son, Bob, attended Centre before finishing his degree at another school.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports the donation ranks among the 20 largest gifts ever given to a U.S. college or university.
Brockman Scholars will pursue degrees in several science-related fields, such as behavioral neuroscience, biology, chemistry, computer science, math, and psychology.
Ibrahim Jadoon will graduate with honors this weekend from Centre College in Danville. His family left Pakistan and moved to the U.S. when he was three. When Osama bin Laden was captured two years ago just blocks from Jadoon's former home, he did a lot of reflecting.
"It was disappointing because, if people don't know, Pakistan is a relatively new nation," explained Jadoon. "I realize it was the Pakastani government's poor border security, it's inability to remove extremist militant groups like the Taliban, and it's general dysfunction that enabled bin Laden to stay hidden for so long."
Jadoon often thinks about how his life would have been different had his family stayed in Pakistan.
"The United States, for all of its faults we sometime talk about in the news, unequivocally houses the best institutes of higher education in the world," said Jadoon. "I feel lucky just to be in the U.S., but in about four days when I graduate, I will join the surprisingly seven percent of the world that actually has a college degree."
The Pakistani-American spoke to Lisa Autry about how his life may have turned out had his family had not left Pakistan, and what he thinks are the prospects for a democracy in his home country.
Kentucky’s Centre College is creating a new summer program this year for Kentucky juniors and seniors to learn more about the world outside state.
The Global Leadership Academy will take place over two weeks in the middle of June this summer; the goal for Centre is to get Kentucky’s high school students more in line with global leadership and cultures.
It’s the first attempt at such a program for the private college in Danville, Ky., which is leveraging its reputation as a strong study abroad college to start the program.
Milton Reigelman, the director of global citizenship at Centre College, said the goal is to help high school students get a taste of college life, as well as new subjects.
“But it will also sort of teach them about global issues that are not very widely covered in high schools or even in colleges,” he said.
Courier-Journal political writer James R. Carroll says Danville, Kentucky and Centre College have been universally praised for the outstanding job they did hosting the recent Vice-Presidential debate. It's not often the Bluegrass State gets to share in the limelight of a hotly-contested Presidential election, but Centre's ability to land its second VP debate since 2000 has impressed politicos throughout the nation.
Even though the candidates for vice president met in Danville Thursday night, Kentucky issues such as coal and the auto industry weren’t heavily addressed. Kentucky is affected by many of the national issues that were discussed, but Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan had little to say on topics specific to the commonwealth.