Cornell Receives $20 Million Gift From Alum to Boost Recruiting Efforts

in Ithaca, New York, has announced a $20 million gift from alumnus Arthur Wolcott, '49, chairman of Seneca Foods; his wife, Audrey; and the to help boost need-based financial aid for undergraduate student-athletes.

The gift will be applied to the university's Award Match initiative, a tuition-matching program designed to keep Cornell's need-based financial aid packages competitive with aid packages offered by other Ivy League schools, MIT, Duke, and Stanford. Launched in 2011, the program is widely seen as having strengthened the upstate New York university's recruitment of student-athletes.

"Art Wolcott's extraordinary financial commitment to ensure that Cornell's recruits receive need-based financial aid equal to our Ivy League peers impacts the quality of Cornell athletics profoundly," said Andy Noel, the Meakem Smith director of athletics and physical education. "For decades, an imbalance in the financial aid landscape within the Ivy League has been a serious challenge....Art's support will allow radical change for the better."

The Awards Match initiative helps "bring to Cornell a highly qualified and deserving student body," added Barbara Knuth, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. "The universities that we are matching against are the top universities in the country, so arguably the students who are admitted at multiple institutions within that very elite group of undergraduate institutions are truly among the best students that any of us can hope to enroll."

"." Cornell University Press Release 09/10/2012.