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Quad in summer

Donor's surprise $142,000 gift erases student bills

An anonymous donor recently contributed to help pay the tuition and fees of 26 Augustana College students.

In an email sent to them on June 22, the students learned that their tuition, room and board balances had been updated to reflect the gift of the donor. For many, the gift fully covers their remaining balance.  

“The generosity of donors is something Augustana will always be grateful for,” saidW. Kent Barnds, executive vice president for external relations. “This is especially impactful for the students involved as they can continue to benefit from an Augustana College education.

“Often those who give to Augustana have been the beneficiaries of past generosity and give today as a way of giving back so that others may benefit,” he said. “Augustana alumni like to pay it forward.

“Much of what is new, growing and innovative on our campus is because donors see the growth and progress, and they raise their hands to help."

The college recently completed a capital campaign — AUGUSTANA NOW — that raised more than $133 million. The campaign went $8 million over its goal.

“The people who give to Augustana do so because they believe in the transformative value of a liberal arts education that motivates graduates to be bold problem-solvers in a complex world,” said Barnds.

This is not the first time donors have asked to give to students in such a direct way. Notably, the Augustana’s Close the Gap Award was developed by a donor in 2014. It has been funded by 248 donors and aided 900 high-achieving, high-need students since then.

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