Jessie Ball duPont Fund Supports Program for Low-Wealth Students

JACKSONVILLE, Florida, February 24, 2010 – Trustees of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund awarded $160,000 to Washington & Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, to provide internships, research and study abroad opportunities to low-wealth students.

The grant was among four awards, valued at more than $600,000, made to institutions of higher education by the trustees during their February meeting.

The grant to Washington & Lee reflects the trustees’ interest in increasing educational opportunities for low-wealth students.

Washington & Lee has made a concerted effort to ensure a sizeable number of economically disadvantaged students can afford a W&L education. Between the 2005 and 2009 school years, the need-based financial aid budget doubled. The number of Pell Grant students in the 2009 graduating class was 27, up from10 in 2001.

While Washington & Lee has the financial resources to underwrite the costs of tuition, room and board for a significant number of low-wealth students, the University recognizes it often takes more than a college degree to be successful in today’s job market — it requires internships, research and international experiences. Low-wealth students are particularly challenged in accessing these experiences.

The grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund will enable the university to underwrite the costs of learning outside of the classroom as well as inside, thereby helping to minimize the gap in life experiences between advantaged and disadvantaged students.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund makes grants to more than 330 eligible organizations identified by Mrs. duPont in her will. The Fund has assets of more than $265 million and has awarded $291 million in grants since 1977.

CONTACT:

Sherry Magill, president

904-353-0890 / smagill@dupontfund.org

Mary Kress Littlepage, KBT & Associates

904-384-8496 / mekl@comcast.net