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Gift From Philanthropist Paul Mellon’s Estate Will Assist Needy Students From His Home County In Virginia

March 12, 2002-- The University of Virginia has received a special gift of more than $3 million from the estate of the late Paul Mellon to fund scholarships for needy students from his beloved Fauquier County, Va.

Mellon, one of America’s greatest art collectors and philanthropists, had a deep affection for the bucolic Piedmont Virginia county where he bred horses and lived for most of his adult life. Although known for its wealth, Fauquier County has many residents who are unable to afford college.

"Mr. Mellon was devoted to the people of his home county," said Beverly Carter, co-executor of his estate. "It is highly fitting that deserving students from Fauquier be able to receive an education in his name."

"This will have a dramatic impact on meeting the financial needs of Fauquier’s young people who want to attend U.Va.," said John A. Blackburn, dean of admissions. "It will play an important role in assisting with the education of many students. I hope this will serve as an incentive to the citizens of Fauquier County to consider the possibility of studying at U.Va. Unfortunately, too many students decide not to apply because they believe that they cannot afford it."

This year alone, for example, 16 U.Va. students from Fauquier County applied for financial aid, according to Donna L. Oliver, senior assistant director of financial aid.

"On behalf of the students, faculty and staff, we want to express our deep appreciation for the establishment of these scholarships, which will be called Paul Mellon Scholarships," she said.

Students from Fauquier who apply for financial aid with demonstrated need will automatically be considered for a scholarship, Oliver said. First preference will go to meeting the greatest needs. Students must reapply for financial aid each year.

In addition to $3 million to build a permanent endowment for the scholarships, Mellon’s estate has provided $150,000 to meet the immediate financial-aid needs of entering and already-enrolled students from Fauquier who attend U.Va. next fall.

U.Va. is one of the many institutions and charitable organizations that the philanthropist, who died in 1999, supported in his lifetime and with bequests in his will. He also designated U.Va. as one of four institutions to receive discretionary gifts from his estate’s executors. The Paul Mellon Scholarships are established with a discretionary gift.

Among Mellon’s bequests to U.Va. were $20 million for prostate cancer research, the largest gift in the medical school’s history, and a vast collection of rare items related to American and Virginia history given to the University Library.

Contact: Bob Brickhouse, (434) 924-6856

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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