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Sequoia Venture Capitalist Donates $50 Million to Fund University of Chicago's Scholarship Programs

February 18
11:58 AM 2016

It would be considered an early Christmas gift for the 'lower-income students' from the University of Chicago as they received a whopping $50 million donation. The huge amount was given by Michael Moritz, who is also the chairman of Sequoia Capital along with his wife, Harriet Heyman.  A total of $350 million will be given in five years to support the Odyssey Scholarship Program and the Collegiate Scholars Program. 

Michael Moritz and his wife kind-heartedly gave away $50 million to fund the Odyssey Scholarship Program to help students with lower income but with excellent potential.  These students are considered with the utmost economic need and mostly are the first to reach college.  The generous couple is provoking the university to collect the same amount of $50 million, according to abc17news.

"I wouldn't be here today if not for the generosity of strangers," the investor said on his company web site.

The purpose of the said program is to eradicate the need for student loans and requirements for students to work.  It will also assist in the study abroad and developing of careers via paid internships.  The university informed that the funding will append hundreds of students to the program.

The donation provided by writer Harriet Heyman and her husband Michael Moritz, will be a great help to improve the Odyssey Scholarship Program as well as the Collegiate Scholars Program.  The Odyssey program began in 2007 where an anonymous donor named Homer donated $100 million. From there on, 3,500 students were called Odyssey scholars which made the program receive 10,000 more donations, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The amount given by the couple will also boost the participation of 70 to 108 students in the Collegiate Scholars Program. The challenging three-year program will put talented CPS students in summer classes held at the university and undergo leadership training with the privilege to visit colleges.

"Cultivating students' potential for exceptional achievement regardless of their economic circumstances has always been a central commitment of the University of Chicago," said President Robert J. Zimmer, in a news release from the university. "Harriet and Michael's transformative generosity reaffirms that principle and allows us to pursue an ambitious model of support for students of diverse backgrounds."

According to The New York Times, the Odyssey Scholarship Program are for those students enrolled in the university while the Collegiate Scholars Program concentrates on helping high school students to apply and prepare for college entry.

This is not the first time that the couple gave a large donation to a university. They also donated $30 million to the University of Chicago, San Francisco to support doctorate programs.  With venture capitalist like Michael Moritz and his wife, other businessmen should also follow their example of not only investing in startups but also in education where a lot of deserving students can be benefited.

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