Western Michigan University awarded $550 million donation

Western Michigan University has received a $550 million donation from school alumni.

The school's president cited equity and social mobility for how the school intends to use its financial gift - the largest ever private donation gifted to a public university.

The "profoundly generous gift from grads of WMU" will be "transformative," said president Edward Montgomery during a streamed press conference Tuesday afternoon.

The funding is expected to be given to the university over the next 10 years. It will be diverted toward three main sources: its medical school, financial aid, and athletic programs.

"The impact is designed to ripple through education and through the community," said Montgomery.

While universities often benefit from donations from their graduates, its highly unusual to see such a large donation go toward any schools that aren't already some of the richest in the country.

The breakdown of the donation includes:

  • $300 million for the school's Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
  • $200 million for financial aid, hiring faculty, and other university initiatives
  • $50 million for athletic programs