Philanthropy spotlight: Record $5M gift creates scholarship fund at University of Baltimore

Commercial real-estate developer Samuel G. Rose has given the University of Baltimore $5 million to create a scholarship fund—the largest-ever single-donor cash gift to the institution’s endowment.

Just months ago, Rose, who grew up in Northwest Baltimore and graduated from the university’s law school in 1962, donated $1.2 million for pandemic emergency student aid, supporting technology purchases for students learning remotely. According to the Baltimore Sun, discussions about a third seven-figure gift, this time focused on criminal justice, are also underway.

Prioritizing transfer students

Rose says his experience as a lower-income college student inspired him to endow the scholarship fund. He did so via the sale of two paintings to the forthcoming Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, reports the Sun, noting that “even that sale will forward Rose’s educational aims by transferring two paintings by modern masters from private hands into a public viewing space.”

In awarding the scholarships, the university will give preference to students transferring from other institutions having completed most of their first-year coursework. “If you can get an education and find something you love to do, you have a shot at a decent life,” Rose said.

“Sam’s generosity has been just tremendous and it is inspiring,” said the university’s president, Kurt L. Schmoke. “Our student body is older, with an average age of 28. Most work full-time. The University of Baltimore has always been a career-oriented place, and that attracted Sam. He knew our students needed help juggling many different things in their lives.”

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