Susie Spanos, Tanya Snyder, And NFL Support "A Crucial Catch"

The National Football League and NFL Players Association will support October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with their fourth-annual national breast cancer screening initiative and fundraising campaign. In collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the initiative, called "A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives," reminds women 40 and older about the importance of having an annual mammogram. Tanya Snyder, wife of Redskins owner Dan Snyder, Susie Spanos, wife of Chargers president Dean Spanos, and players including Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and running back DeAngelo Williams have all embraced A Crucial Catch-each has been touched by breast cancer. In addition, Saints quarterback Drew Brees recently filmed a breast cancer awareness PSA with the American Cancer Society to show his support for A Crucial Catch.

To date, the partnership has raised more than $3 million for the American Cancer Society, with the majority of the donation coming from the sale of pink items at retail and on NFL Auction. Beginning this year, money raised through A Crucial Catch will support the American Cancer Society's Community Health Advocates National Grants for Empowerment (CHANGE) program. This program provides outreach and breast cancer screenings to women who need them. The NFL markets being supported in the first year of the program are Atlanta, Baltimore, New England, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

In 2011 alone, the NFL's A Crucial Catch campaign reached more than 151 million viewers, including 58 million women age 18 and older. The campaign's message is making a real impact-64% of NFL female fans and 61% of all NFL fans identify the importance of annual screenings, especially for women over 40, as the key message of the A Crucial Catch campaign.

Jeff Skoll Named in Top 50 NonProfit Times List

The NonProfit Times has released its fifteenth annual Power and Influence Top 50 list, and Jeff Skoll is among them. They wrote: “Skoll fuels the international juggernaut of social entrepreneurism. He is correct when saying that innovation and change come from curiosity and his world forums feed that prying loose of ideas. He is pushing for what he calls Humanity 2.0, a sustainable world of peace and prosperity and he’s using every media toll possible to get there.”

This was Jeff Skoll’s first time on the NonProfit Times list. Other first-time honorees on this year’s list include Robert F. Ashcraft, executive director of the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation; Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United; Diana Campoamor, president of Hispanics in Philanthropy; Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA; Tim Delaney, president and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits; James Firman, president and CEO of the National Council on Aging; Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts; Tim McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation; Ben Rattray, founder and CEO of; Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation; Judy Vredenburgh, president and CEO of Girls Inc.; Ann Silverberg Williamson, president and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations; and Samuel Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction. - September 26th 2012

See the complete list at

Koch Industries, Inc., and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation Diversity Scholarship Support

Koch Industries, Inc., and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation have announced a commitment totaling $814,000 to the Kansas State University Office of Diversity. The commitment includes a combined gift of $514,000 to increase enrollment of multicultural students in K-State’s College of Business Administration and College of Engineering and help them succeed in college and beyond. In addition, the company made a $300,000 commitment for future diversity scholarship support.

Koch Industries’ funding will continue its support of K-State’s College of Business Administration’s efforts to promote recruitment, retention, graduation and placement of greater numbers of historically under-represented students. In addition, the company’s commitment will also extend scholarship funding to students in the College of Engineering.

“Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation’s support is essential to the success of so many students,” said Myra Gordon, K-State associate provost for diversity. “Not all students have the awareness, support and financial means to make college a reality. This is particularly true among many multicultural groups. However, with special partnerships like this one, we have created a sustained effort — called Project IMPACT— that nurtures the talents of multicultural students that will be needed to invigorate the domestic and global workplace.”

The Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy

Forbes I'm looking forward to reading the Current Issue of Forbes Magazine.  The Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy, was the greatest-ever meeting of its kind. Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, Peter Peterson, Leon Black, Jon Bon Jovi, Marc Benioff, David Rubenstein, Steve Case, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, and Marc Andreessen will grace the cover of Forbes October 8th 30th Anniversary Issue.

Read more about it

David and Simon Reuben Support Film Library

The Reuben Foundation have provided the principal funding to construct the BFI Reuben Library on Southbank, London The library provides one of the biggest collections of printed materials relating to film and television in the world.

The BFI Reuben Library's priority is comprehensive coverage of the moving image in Britain from pre-cinema to the present, but the scope of the collection is international with material held in more than 15 languages.

Researchers, students and moving image enthusiasts of all ages will be able to use the BFI Reuben Library's collections and resources daily. The BFI Reuben Library will also lead to the creation of a BFI Academy for young people wanting to enter the film industry.

"The BFI looks after the world's greatest collections of film and television material and we opened this new library at BFI Southbank to inspire more people about the future of film," said BFI chair Greg Dyke.

"It is a vital hub and resource for everybody from filmmakers, academic researchers, students and the industry itself, or anyone with an interest in film and we are indebted to The Reuben Foundation along with our other benefactors for their incredible support."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "This is a tremendous initiative, providing an exciting resource for Londoners that will also be a huge attraction to film fans, students and curious tourists from far and wide.

"I thank The Reuben Foundation for its support with this fantastic example of philanthropy in culture. London has provided an iconic backdrop for so many famous films, be it Harry Potter or James Bond and it's only right that we have such a fitting tribute to our great film heritage."

Designed by award-winning Coffey Architects, the BFI Reuben Library cleverly combines hanging metal mesh, timber bookcases and subtle new lighting to create a rich, vibrant yet welcoming and calm space, which serves all manner of visitors.

The Reubens said “we are delighted to support the BFI in creating the new BFI Reuben Library, which we hope will benefit film students, researchers and moving image enthusiasts of all ages for many years to come”.

San Diego Chargers, Dean Spanos, & Payless ShoeSource

Today the San Diego Chargers, Dean Spanos, and Payless ShoeSource provided funds for 1,000 pairs of shoes for San Diego children in need. Chargers Antwan Barnes, Melvin Ingram, Jarret Johnson, Ryan Matthews, Kendall Rayes, Charlie Whithurst, and Demmorio Williams took their day off to visit four local San Diego Payless Shoe stores and help kids pick out and try on new shoes for school.

Phil Knight and his wife Penny make gift to OHSU

Phil Knight and his wife Penny have provided a transformational gift of $125 million to the Oregon Health & Science University to advance OHSU’s world-class programs in cardiovascular medicine and research. The gift is the largest in OHSU history and may likely be the largest private contribution ever made by living donors to benefit a single Oregon organization. This is the Knights’ second landmark gift to OHSU, following a 2008 pledge of $100 million that advanced the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. commented that “Phil and Penny Knight have made a gift to all Oregonians.”

Phil Knight followed that up by saying “Penny and I are pleased to help upgrade cardiovascular health in Oregon and around the world. Drs. Starr and Kaul have built a great program in research, care and outreach, and we are excited about what it can contribute to the fight against these deadly diseases.”

With the Knights’ support, the leadership duo of Starr and Kaul a heart surgeon and a cardiologist will be able to move forward on a vision to build a comprehensive assault on cardiovascular disease that spans the entire health care spectrum.

Kudos to the Knights for their generosity.

Julia and George Argyros Gift to CHOC

Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s) today announced that Julia and George Argyros made a $5 million gift for its new pediatric emergency department – the first in Orange County.  In honor of the couple’s generosity, the emergency department will open in March 2013 as the Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department. The 22,000-square-foot Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department is designed to meet the unique needs of children.  It features 31 treatment rooms, including 14 rapid medical exam rooms, and three triage suites.

The Julia and George Argyros Emergency Department is part of CHOC’s new, 425,000-square-foot tower, which will also house advanced operating rooms, laboratory, pathology and imaging services – each with a dedicated pediatric environment and staff.  The seven-story building, with leading design and safety principles, includes enhanced patient and families amenities to create a serene, healing environment for children.

“We are extremely grateful for the long-standing support of the Argyros family, and are thrilled by this most recent contribution which will help us achieve our vision and transform pediatric care,” said Kim Cripe, president and CEO of CHOC Children’s. “Julia and George’s $5 million donation is an amazing gift to the children and families in Orange County who will now have access to a world-class pediatric emergency department.”

In addition to their $5 million gift, the Argyros family helped launch the hospital’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Change CHOC, Change the World,” with a leadership gift of $1 million in 2009 to name the surgery center reception area in CHOC’s new tower.  In recognition of that gift and in honor of Julia and George’s daughter, the area is named “The Stephanie A. Argyros Reception.” They have generously sponsored two signature hospital fundraising events, the CHOC Cherishes Children Gala and the CHOC Follies, for which Julia has also donated her time and talent as a cast member. Stephanie Argyros joined the CHOC Children’s Foundation Board of Directors last year.

With the Argyros’ $5 million gift, CHOC Children’s has raised a little more than $120 million in their “Change CHOC, Change the World” campaign.

“We are grateful to Julia and George Argyros for this transformational investment in pediatric healthcare. This timeless gift will create a lasting legacy for generations to come at CHOC. Please join CHOC Children’s and the Argyros family as together we move forward world-class pediatric healthcare in Orange County and throughout the globe,” said Graig Eastin, vice president of the CHOC Children’s Foundation.

Ivanka Trump Grants A Wish

Teen jewelry designer Linda Cifuentes was recently granted a wish to spend a day with Trump at her SoHo jewelry boutique, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Cifuentes is 16-year-old and was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma earlier this year. Her mother brought her beads to make jewelry with from her hospital bed. A passion was born.

“She’s really, really very good,” Trump says.

Trump gifted the teen with a piece from her fine jewelry collection.

Trump also gave Cifuentes three emeralds, used to create a piece auctioned at a Make-A-Wish event. Funds raised will help grant four children’s wishes. - August 12th 2012


Michael Moritz & Harriet Heyman Pledge To Oxford

The biggest philanthropic gift for undergraduate financial support in European history will underpin a major new scholarship programme at the University of Oxford – making it possible, starting this autumn, for students from low-income backgrounds to complete their studies with zero upfront study and living costs. The transformative programme is founded on a £75million commitment from alumnus Michael Moritz and his wife Harriet Heyman which, with a 'matched funding challenge' to the collegiate University, will generate an unprecedented total of £300million to support UK undergraduates from lower-income backgrounds.

At present, just under a thousand Oxford undergraduates (about one in ten) are in the lowest family income bracket (families with incomes of below £16,000). Within three years of its launch this autumn, more than half of these students could benefit from a Moritz-Heyman Scholarship. It is envisaged that eventually all such students would be covered by the scheme or equivalent similar scholarships.

Under the programme, Oxford students from the lowest-income families will receive financial support totalling £11,000 per year, eliminating all living costs. Those students will have their borrowing pegged to the level prior to the new higher fees regime coming into force this autumn. They will need government loans of just £3,500 a year – repayable only in line with future earnings.

In addition, Moritz-Heyman scholars will receive financial support during vacations (so that economic hardship does not unnecessarily divert or distract low-income students), and will participate in a tailor-made internship programme to foster career opportunities.

Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, said: 'Oxford is already offering the most generous undergraduate support package in the country. But this remarkable and hugely generous gift and initiative from Michael and Harriet allows us to go an important stage further towards our goal of ensuring that all barriers – real or perceived – are removed from students' choices. It provides extraordinary support – financial and personal – for outstanding students.'

Michael Moritz, who is an alumnus of Christ Church, said: 'Real talent is housed everywhere. Our new scholarship programme means that a gifted student – irrespective of financial circumstances – will always be 100% confident they can study at Oxford. This is a fresh approach to student funding in the UK – fuelled by philanthropy; catering to the dreams and aspirations of individuals determined to excel; while also safeguarding the academic excellence on which Oxford’s global reputation stands.'

The Prime Minister, The Rt Hon David Cameron, said: 'I welcome this generous donation which will mean that many talented students, from some of the most disadvantaged backgrounds, will get help and support to study at a world leading university, and have a chance to realise their full potential.'

The total gift of £75m to Oxford will be made in three tranches of £25m. Each £25m will be matched by the equivalent of investment returns from £25m of the University's own endowment, making £50m in total. Then there will be a challenge to the collegiate University and its supporters to match that £50m through further philanthropy. Only when the £25m stimulus has led to a full £100m for student support will the next £25m be given. This process will happen three times over, until Moritz and Heyman have donated £75m in all and Oxford has a total of £300m dedicated to undergraduate support.

Those who have already won a 2012 Oxford place with family incomes of below £16,000 will be eligible for a Moritz-Heyman scholarship. For 2012-13, 100 scholarships will be available, and priority will be given to students of science subjects and those who meet Oxford’s access priorities.

Students with family incomes below £16,000 who do not get one of the 100 Moritz-Heyman scholarships will still automatically receive Oxford University’s new standard 2012 support package, which provides both fee waivers and bursaries and is the most generous in the country.

In 2008, Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman donated $50m (over £25m) to Christ Church, where he studied as an undergraduate, the biggest single gift in the college’s recent history.

How Long Does It Take To See The Smithsonian?

Among the places we would like to visit one day as a family is The Smithsonian. So we were very excited to hear the National Museum of Natural History announcement today that it will construct a new dinosaur exhibition hall made possible by a $35 million donation from David H. Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries and philanthropist. “Dinosaurs have always been one of the Smithsonian’s most important and popular exhibitions,” said Cristián Samper, director of the National Museum of Natural History.

This is the largest single gift in the history of the Natural History Museum. Koch has contributed to many cultural, educational and health organizations, including Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Koch has been a member of the National Museum of Natural History’s board for five years.

“We are grateful to David Koch for this gift that will allow the Smithsonian to update one of the most important and popular exhibitions in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History,” said Secretary of the Smithsonian Wayne Clough. “Millions of Americans and visitors from all over the world will learn and be inspired for years to come.”

The existing dinosaur hall will remain open until spring 2014. This gives us a little time to save up for a visit after the new hall is opened. We do have one question though - how long does it take, to take in the Smithsonian?

Greg Renker Awarded Distinguished Horatio Alger Award

The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. awarded its prestigious Horatio Alger Award to Greg P. Renker, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Guthy-Renker. The Horatio Alger Award is given to outstanding individuals who, despite facing adversity early in their lives, have overcome challenges to attain success.

"We are pleased to honor Greg Renker's dedication to professional success and helping others," said Tony Novelly, president and CEO, Horatio Alger Association. "His story and those of his fellow 2012 New Members are testaments to what can be achieved in America with hard work and determination."

Greg Renker learned the value of adaptability and hard work at a young age. The nature of his father's work caused Greg and his eight siblings to move frequently, forcing them to adjust to new environments everywhere they went. As a teenager, Mr. Renker began to work while attending school. He quickly developed a strong work ethic and voracious appetite for learning that would balance his studies and the various jobs he worked to pay his college tuition. After college, Mr. Renker used savings from working several jobs to found the Guthy-Renker Corporation, one of the world's largest direct response marketing companies. The company has broadened its focus into every area of electronic and digital retailing and distributes its products in 60 countries throughout the world.

In addition to Mr. Renker's success as a marketing professional and entrepreneur, he is also a well-known philanthropist. Deeply involved in his local community, Mr. Renker serves on the board of directors and is vice chairman of the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA. He is a chairman emeritus of the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences and Chairman Emeritus of the ERA (Electronic Retailing Association). Joined by his wife Stacey, the pair's financial contributions resulted in The Renker Wellness Center on the Eisenhower Campus as well as The Greg & Stacey Renker Pavilion, a cutting-edge 24 -suite luxury in-patient facility.

"My parents were the first to show me that with perseverance and faith, success can be achieved. I am humbled to have my name be part of such an elite organization like the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans and use my personal and professional history as a blueprint to help others achieve their dreams," said Renker.

Sir Douglas Myers Scholarship Taking Cantabrian To Cambridge

Sir Douglas Myers Scholarship for 2012 to Cambridge University in England has been awarded to Zoë Higgins, a student from Banks Peninsula with a passion for improving the quality and sustainability of human life. There she will study for a bachelor of arts degree in geography with a view to working in developing countries and eventually back in her home province of Canterbury.

The scholarship, worth $100,000 a year, will take her to Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge. Sir Douglas Myers, a Cambridge alumnus, set up the scholarship 12 years ago for academically gifted students intending to return to New Zealand to become leaders in their chosen fields.

Last year Zoë was dux at St Margaret’s College, Christchurch where she also became the first student ever to receive Academic Honours twice for academic excellence, service and commitment. She scored 44 out of 45 in the International Baccalaureate Diploma while also gaining NCEA Scholarship in English.

Zoë was a member of the Canterbury schools debating team and won the school cups for debating and public speaking. She contributed to drama, film, writing and cultural events, and took part in dragon boating, indoor netball and table tennis. As prefect, Head of Community, she was responsible for events and fundraising for charities, including co-leading the school’s World Vision Forty Hour famine fundraiser.

Cambridge will give her “an amazing opportunity to make new friendships and step out from New Zealand into the world”, says Zoë. “I love the idea of living with students from around the world who have very different backgrounds and experiences.”

The ability to take papers from different disciplines at Cambridge appeals to Zoë as does the college system. She is also looking forward to advancing her own ideas and theories at intense, one-on-one supervision sessions.

Its “combination of imagination and problem-solving” and “the way it brings together science and humanities” persuaded her to pursue geography. “Mostly, I love the way it’s useful."

Zoë plans to apply her degree to engage with the world’s challenges: "equality, improved standards of living, and sustainable use of resources, in New Zealand and overseas. I want to be able to work on the ground and see what the problems really are, not just propose solutions from on high. Geography gives you the tools to do that. And it shows you how much of an impact informed, creative solutions can have."

New Zealand “is quite firmly my home” and after travelling and working overseas she would like to return to live here. “As a Cantabrian I care about finding ways to protect our soil and rivers from contamination by practising safe, sustainable agriculture.”

Currently Zoë is taking papers for a conjoint Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Laws at the University of Auckland pending her start at Cambridge in October.

Environmental Gala Hosted by Tony and Jeanne Pritzker

UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES) raised more than half a million dollars at a star-studded kick-off event for its new fundraising drive, which is aimed at broadening and deepening the institute's already considerable impact. Donors contributed more than $500,000 to IoES as part of the institute's March 15 inaugural gala, "An Evening of Environmental Excellence," which was hosted by IoES board chairman Tony Pritzker and his wife, Jeanne, at their mansion in the Bel-Air hills. Tony Pritzker and IoES board member Tina Quinn co-chaired the event.

Approximately 300 donors, IoES faculty and environmentally-minded celebrities enjoyed cocktails and dinner at the Pritzker's architecturally stunning new home, which offers panoramic views from downtown to the Santa Monica Bay and has a hefty 72 kilowatts of solar power, geothermal cooling, and state-of-the-art energy-efficient lighting and climate control.

Guests included movie star Owen Wilson; music producer Quincy Jones; indie singer Lana Del Rey; IoES board member Lawrence Bender, who produced "Pulp Fiction" and "An Inconvenient Truth"; actor and musician Jared Leto; and many more.

Politicians, including former California Gov. Gray Davis, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, state Sen. Fran Pavley, and former California Environmental Protection Agency secretary Terry Tamminen also attended, alongside California Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols and members of advisory boards related to IoES.

The institute's director, Glen MacDonald, thanked the many donors in the audience.

"Your generous support enables us to continue to expand our academic offerings, broaden our scientific efforts and host a variety of public programs," he said. "Despite economic hardship to the state and the university, the institute is growing and developing real solutions to the environment and sustainability challenges we face at our global home."

The event also featured an awards ceremony, at which the institute honored Dan Emmett, who, among his many green accomplishments, is a founding member of Santa Monica Baykeeper and a founding board member of the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment at the UCLA School of Law. The Southern California Edison energy company was also honored for their environmental philanthropy, energy conservation and early use of renewable energy.

"Both Dan Emmett and Southern California Edison have been truly transformative in their vision and support for building a healthy environment and a sustainable future for California," MacDonald said.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block was also on hand to help kick off the fundraising drive.

"I'm pleased to announce the launch of a fundraising drive that will help to build the scope and effectiveness of the institute," Block said. "No place on earth is better positioned than the Los Angeles area to address a raft of vexing environmental challenges and to provide a model for the road ahead."

"UCLA is educating and training the next generation of environmental scientists, policymakers and problem-solvers that the world so sorely needs," Tony Pritzker said.

Reid Hoffman Funds $1 Million in Free Kiva Trials

Kiva, the world’s first and largest microlending platform, and Reid Hoffman, one of Silicon Valley’s most successful entrepreneurs, are joining forces to alleviate poverty and open the doors of entrepreneurship worldwide. Hoffman is funding a $1 million free trial program, allowing 40,000 new Kiva users to make a $25 loan to the borrower of their choice at no cost. Since this week’s free trial launch, the rate of new users signing up on Kiva is nine times faster than usual. More than half of the 40,000 free trials were claimed in less than a week, setting in motion a ripple effect of entrepreneurial support around the globe. “Kiva brings us all closer to a time when each of us has the opportunity to reach our full potential, whether we live in the world’s biggest cities or most remote villages,” said Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, Kiva Board Member, and co-author of The Start Up of You. “Through Kiva’s Free Trial program I am inviting 40,000 people to make that potential a reality for tens of thousands of people worldwide so they can create a better future for themselves and their families.”

Kiva helps to break the cycle of poverty worldwide by connecting lenders to borrowers through loans that change lives. During the free trial, new users of can take $25 out of Reid Hoffman’s account and lend it to the entrepreneur of their choice. As the loan is repaid, they receive updates and notes from the borrower on how the funds were used and how they are doing. After a user tries Kiva for free, they can then decide if they want to lend their own money to another borrower on the site.

“Kiva offers each of us the chance to be a part of a growing community of people who care about the impact they have in the world,” said Premal Shah, President of Kiva. “The momentum at which people are claiming these free trials proves to me that the passion to lend support and help someone lift themselves out of poverty is widely felt around the world.”

Over the past few days more than 22,000 people have flocked to Kiva to sign up as new users—a number that Kiva would typically see only after two months. It is not just the initial sign-ups that are promising for this nonprofit organization. Kiva is experimenting with a not-for-profit application of “freemium” models that have propelled growth for companies like Zynga, Paypal, and LinkedIn.

The premise of Kiva’s freemium model is that after having the full Kiva experience, new users will opt-in to lend their own money. From Kiva’s free trial pilot last August, more than 14% became regular lenders—a rate three times what is typically expected for freemium models.

Often only a relatively small amount of money stands in the way of Kiva borrowers and their dreams. Whether it is a family in New Orleans hoping to start a small business, or a young Bolivian woman who lacks the tuition for nursing school, Kiva gives the people the chance to lend their support to these and countless other borrowers. And, by lending as little as $25 to a borrower, you not only help an individual lift themselves out of poverty, you are setting in motion a ripple effect of change for their families and communities. Check out and be a part of the ripple effect for change.

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos Gift to Princeton

Princeton University alumnus Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive officer of, and alumna MacKenzie Bezos, are donating $15 million to the University to create a center in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. The gift will establish the Bezos Center for Neural Circuit Dynamics, which will be led by institute co-director David Tank. "Professor Tank and his colleagues are on an epic quest to unravel one of humankind's greatest challenges — understanding the brain," said Jeff Bezos. "New tools and techniques are making possible discoveries that would have been unthinkable just two decades ago. We can hope for advancements that lead to understanding deep behaviors, more effective learning methods for young children, and cures for neurological diseases. MacKenzie and I are delighted and excited to support Princeton in their focus on fundamental neuroscience."

Bruce and Martha Karsh Support Duke

Duke University trustee Bruce Karsh and his wife Martha have donated $50 million to Duke for a permanent endowment to support need-based financial aid for undergraduate students from the United States and other countries, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Monday. This gift is the largest donation made by individuals to support financial aid in the university's history. The gift includes $30 million for U.S. students and $20 million for international students. Including this new contribution, the Karshes have given $85 million for undergraduate financial aid at Duke. More than half of Duke's undergraduates receive some form of financial assistance from the university.

"We are deeply grateful to the Karshes for this remarkable gift and for the way they have championed one of the university's highest priorities," Brodhead said. "This gift helps safeguard our commitment to keeping a Duke education accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds, even as the economy continues to recover. It also opens our door further to the best and brightest students from around the world, creating a richer learning environment for all Duke students."

The Karshes have designated $5 million to create a "KIPP at Duke" endowment that will provide financial aid for tuition, program enrichment, advising and other support for graduates of the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) who are accepted and matriculate at Duke. KIPP is a network of college-preparatory public schools in underserved communities throughout the nation.

The gift will add $15 million to the existing Karsh Scholarship Fund for financial aid for U. S. students, and will also create a $10 million dollar-for-dollar challenge to encourage other donors to establish their own named, need-based undergraduate scholarships for U.S. students.

The remaining $20 million will be dedicated to expanding and strengthening the Karsh International Scholars Program, which officially launched this year. This gift doubles their 2008 gift of $20 million that established the program.

The first group of Karsh International Scholars includes nine students from Nepal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, Spain, Ukraine, Ecuador, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. In addition to having their full financial need met, Karsh Scholars are eligible for summer research funding to enhance their educational experience.

"Our first group of Karsh Scholars are exceptional students, and I'm excited to see that the program will grow as a result of the Karshes' newest gift," said Ana P. Barros, faculty adviser to the program and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Duke. "This gift will give Duke an advantage among top U.S. universities in attracting top international students to study here. It sends a message to potential applicants out there who dream of a U.S. education but who may think that it is impossible to afford. This says Duke can be the place for them, and we are committed to their success."

Duke is one of a small number of universities with a "need-blind" admissions policy, which means that the university does not consider an applicant's ability to pay for college when making admissions decisions. In addition, Duke guarantees to meet the full demonstrated financial need of admitted U.S. students. Financial aid packages combine grants, loans and work-study opportunities after assessing what parents and students can reasonably contribute.

Duke also offers need-based aid to international students, and the Karshes' gift will enable the university to provide assistance to more students from other countries.

Alison Rabil, Duke's assistant vice provost and director of financial aid, said the gift will make an enduring difference for students and their families.

"Donor-funded scholarship endowments play a key role in helping Duke meet the rising cost of financial aid. We've seen a marked increase in student need in recent years," she said. "It's extraordinary that we have donors like the Karshes who are willing to make an investment like this, which will benefit students and their families for generations to come."

Bruce Karsh, a 1977 Duke graduate, said he and Martha believe that financial aid is an investment in people that can be a "genuine game changer."

"It makes a crucial difference to the individual recipients and enhances the intellectual and cultural diversity of the university community. Moreover, it helps develop the pool of talent needed to grapple with an increasingly complex and global world," Karsh said.

"Martha and I believe strongly that motivated, talented students-- whether from underserved communities in the U.S or from around the globe -- should be able to attend a great university like Duke, which can nurture their talent and help them reach their potential. We know Duke shares the same deep commitment. We feel fortunate to be able to make a substantial gift that supports this shared value and that will help Duke deliver on its promise to meet the financial needs of all U.S. students and as many international students as possible."

Bruce Plested Supports ‘Duffy Books in Homes’ Charitable Foundation

Bruce Plested is Chairman for the ‘Duffy Books in Homes’ Charitable Foundation, which provides five new books to participating students, with the aim of developing better education and a love of reading in children.  One of the main sponsors for this programme is Mainfreight. Since the initial relationship, in which Mainfreight sponsored books which were given to children in low decile schools, the firm has increased its support of the programme and has become a major sponsor of the literacy initiative.

In addition to sponsoring 54 of the 541 schools involved in the programme, Mainfreight provides a rent-free office, allowing the charity to direct more of its funding towards books which make their way into the hands of more than 100,000 children in low-income communities nationwide.

One of Mainfreight’s most anticipated contributions to the Duffy programme is the annual Mainfreight Award for Excellence in Attitude.

Each year a senior student in each Duffy school is awarded a high quality reference book, cup and certificate signed by Bruce Plested, Mainfreight’s Executive Chairman. Many schools choose to make this their major end of year prize for departing students.

This year’s book prize is The Complete Human Body – The Definitive Visual Guide by Dr. Alice Roberts. The book uses computer-generated illustrations and the latest medical and microscopic imaging to explain every aspect of the human body more clearly than ever before.

Representatives from Mainfreight, Daily Freight, Owens and Chemcouriers are invited to visit schools and help present the award – an opportunity which they all relish.

Linda Vagana, General Manager of Duffy Books in Homes believes that Mainfreight’s support has been a cornerstone of the charity’s success. “Mainfreight’s amazing success as a company over the years makes them the ideal supporter of such an award – promoting excellence and awarding our future young leaders in Duffy schools nationwide,” she said.

Since the official launch in 1995 with 80 schools, 16,000 students and 14 sponsors, the Duffy Books in Homes programme has grown to encompass 541 schools, around 100,000 students and more than 200 sponsors in 2011. More than seven million books have been distributed to children in low-decile schools since its inception and the programme now distributes more than 600,000 books annually.