in St. Louis has announced a $60 million gift from university vice chair and life trustee John McDonnell and his family's .
The largest portion of the gift — $48 million — will be used to create and endow the McDonnell Academic Excellence Fund, an unrestricted fund that the university can use to respond to new academic opportunities, launch initiatives that build on its strengths, and maximize its impact on the world. Income generated from the fund could be used for a range of one-time needs, including faculty appointments, new construction and building renovations, scholarship and fellowship support, and new programs. At the chancellor's discretion, income from the fund can also be used to build other university endowments over time.
Another $10 million will support the , a global network of partner universities established in 2005 to enable scholars from those institutions to earn a graduate degree and experience broad leadership exposure at the school. In addition, a $2 million challenge grant will be used to encourage new and expanded annual scholarships as part of the university's campaign.
"This is a remarkable gift, and it will have a real impact in advancing Washington University's strategic plan for excellence," said university chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. "I am very grateful to John McDonnell and the JSM Charitable Trust's directors for their foresight and extraordinary generosity. I am particularly thankful to them for establishing the McDonnell Academic Excellence Fund, which will provide flexibility and generate much-needed resources in perpetuity."