The has announced a $13 million gift from Leon and Sandra Levine to extend and expand a merit-based scholarship program through 2011.
Awarded through the , the gift will enable the to support as many as twenty new recipients annually, up from the current fifteen students per year. Established in 2009 through a $9.3 million gift from the Levine Foundation, the program recruits exceptional high school students based on academic achievement, ethical leadership, and civic engagement. Recipients receive a four-year scholarship that covers tuition, room and board, and stipends for summer experiences, as well as a grant to implement a service project of the scholar's design. In 2014, the total value of the four-year package was estimated at $105,000 per in-state student and $155,000 per out-of-state student.
In recognition of the gift, a new 425-bed residence hall housing the administrative offices for the Levine Scholars Program and the university's Honors College will be named Sandra and Leon Levine Hall. Construction on the building is scheduled to begin in 2015, with a projected completion date set for the summer of 2016.
"We could not have envisioned the heights we have seen these fine young students in the Levine Scholars Program reach in the first five years," said Leon Levine, the founder of Family Dollar Stores, Inc. "They have accomplished great academic achievements, which we fully expected to see. However, we have been captivated by their engagement with our community and the ideas they have brought forth in their service projects. It promises great things for the future, both at the University and in the region at large."