The Powell Fund
University of the Pacific has received an estimated $125 million from the estate of the late Robert and Jeannette Powell, the largest gift in the university's 162-year history and among the biggest single bequests to any institution of higher education in the United States.
With their gift, the Sacramento-area couple, who had no children and did not graduate from college themselves, will endow scholarships to help generations of students attend Pacific.
The gift also will create endowments for academic programs at Pacific, including endowed professorships and chairs; support the Powell Scholars Program, a prestigious honors program at the university established by the Powells; and provide ongoing financial support for Pacific's permanent art collection, including works newly donated from the Powells' estate.
"This gift means the world to Pacific, and Pacific students are poised to make a difference in the world," said university President Pamela A. Eibeck. "Bob and Jeannette's transformative gift will help us continue to advance in excellence and accessibility as we fulfill our mission of educating the whole student - intellect, character and spirit - and of going beyond our gates to enhance our communities. The university's future success will honor their memory."
The Powell bequest will be invested in endowments as follows:
- $35 million will support the Powell Scholars program.
- $25 million will create a matching fund to inspire others to create endowments for academic programs.
- $3 million will be earmarked to maintain, store and display Pacific's permanent art collection, now and in the future.
- The remainder - more than $60 million -- will fund a matching campaign for endowed student scholarships.
Also included in the bequest are works of art from the Powells' personal collection, valued at more than $400,000.