Rileys donate largest-ever gift directed to financial aid in University history
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Notre Dame received the largest gift directed toward financial aid in the University’s history this week, the University announced in a press release Sunday.
According to the release, the late Allan Riley and his wife Radwan made the multi-million-dollar gift of an unspecified amount to support two scholarship programs — the Allan J. and Reda Radwan Riley Scholarships and the Leo and Edna Riley-Aref and Helena Jabbour Scholarships.
“The Rileys have been generous supporters for many years, particularly in the arts,” provost Thomas Burish said in a statement. “I am deeply appreciative of this transformative gift in support of our highest institutional priority, financial aid for deserving students.”
Both scholarships will be awarded on the basis of need or merit and are available for undergraduate, graduate and professional students, the press release said. The latter will be awarded to students who have either lived in the Middle East or have expressed interest in studying the culture, history, language, literature or politics of the region.
“The focus of Allan’s parents, as well as mine, was to provide their children with education,” Radwan Riley said in a statement. “At times, it was not easy sailing, but they prevailed and succeeded beyond doubt. We both appreciate what they sacrificed on our behalf, and now we feel it is our turn to do something worthy of their memory and honorable effort.”
The first awards of the two scholarships will be for the 2017–2018 academic year. According to the press release, at least 15 percent of the funds drawn each year will be used to assist graduates of schools operated by the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.