Bard College has received a $500 million endowment from financier George Soros as part of a $1 billion challenge grant.
The Annandale-on-Hudson college stated that the donation is the largest ever made to a higher education institution in the U.S., adding that it has raised an additional $250 million from supporters and plans to raise another $250 million over the next five years.
“This is the most historic moment since the college’s founding in 1860,” longtime Bard College President Leon Botstein said. “When this endowment drive is complete, Bard will have a $1 billion endowment, which will ensure its pioneering mission and its academic excellence for the future.”
Soros is a longtime supporter of Bard, which paid tribute to his role as a co-founder of its Open Society University Network, a global network of educational institutions created with the Central European University in partnership with Soros’ Open Society Foundations. The endowment will enable the college to fund student financial aid, faculty salaries and programs and grow its international profile.
“Bard has had an outsized impact, setting the standard in liberal arts education in prisons, in high school age students and in the arts and in its international work,” Soros said in a press statement.
According to Forbes, Soros has a net worth of $8.3 billion.