On Thursday, President Simon sent out an email to the Lehigh community announcing a $5 million endowment gift from Vickie and Kenneth French, ’75, with the aim to increase scholarship awards for students with financial needs.
The contribution adds to the Go: The Campaign for Lehigh effort to raise $1 billion to support expanded student access and opportunity and continue to attract high-quality students and faculty.
The endowment will allow five students per year to attend Lehigh on scholarship for all four years of their undergraduate degree. Simon’s email said that preference will be awarded to “first-generation college students who are underrepresented in the undergraduate student body.”
Nearly 48 percent of Lehigh students rely on scholarship or financial aid, and Lehigh is one of only about 100 schools nationwide to be completely be need blind in admissions.
Ken French studied mechanical engineering at Lehigh before obtaining graduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Rochester. Vickie met Ken while she was studying business at Moravian College.
Ken French is the current Roth Family Distinguished Professor of Finance at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He was previously on the faculty of the University of Chicago, MIT and Yale.
With five scholarships awarded each year, ultimately 20 student recipients will be known as the French Scholars.